The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to suspend India from hosting any Olympic or Olympic-related events after two Pakistani shooters and one coach was denied visas to visit the country for the World Cup in New Delhi. This decision was made on Thursday, February 21. The Olympic Committee also revoked two Olympic qualification spots that were up for grabs.
“The IOC restricted the withdrawal of recognition as an Olympic qualification event to the 25m rapid fire pistol competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate,” the IOC said in a statement after its executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday. “This happened in the interest of the other 500 athletes from 61 countries participating in the other events who are already in India for their competition.”
“Since becoming aware of the issue and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF and the Indian National Olympic Committee (NOC), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete.”
The IOC stated that India went against the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter which outlines no discrimination should be made by the host country.
“This situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter, in particular the principles of non-discrimination, as well as the IOC’s and the Olympic movement’s position, reiterated on many occasions over the past few years, that equal treatment must be guaranteed for all participating athletes and sporting delegations at international sports events, without any form of discrimination or political interference from the host country.”
“As a result, the IOC executive board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India, until clear written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic charter — and to recommend that the international federations (IFs) neither award nor hold sports events in India until the above-mentioned guarantees are obtained,” the IOC said.
The decision by India comes in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan terror group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans. The tragic incident happened around 3:15 PM on February 14 when an explosive-laden SUV rammed into a bus carrying CRPF troopers.
The Indian shooters that will be affected by this decision are Anish Bhanwala, Arpit Goel, Bhavesh Shekhawat, Adrash Singh and Gurpreet Singh.