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Relief for fencing & taekwondo bodies

New Delhi: A day after Indian Olympic Association (IOA) returned to the Olympic fold, suspension on two other sports federations fencing and taekwondo was lifted on Wednesday by their respective world bodies.

Now, the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) remains the only national sports body serving an international suspension. The world boxing federation (AIBA) threw IBF out for possible manipulations in their elections.

On Wednesday, the Fencing Association of India (FAI) received a communication from the world body (FIE) saying India’s membership has been restored. The letter also said the Indian fencers would now be allowed to compete under the Tricolour. The Taekwondo Federation of India (TFI) was also informed by their parent body in a similar manner.

All these three national federations were prevented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from participating in the IOA elections. The IOA had to remove the name of an official representing the IBF from the list of contestants in the IOA elections at the last moment.

Meanwhile, the Tricolour would be hoisted at the Winter Olympics Games Village in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday, February 16, since the suspension on the IOA having been lifted by the world body.

Senior officials of the IOC and Sochi Organising Committee for the 2014 Winter Games are expected to take part in the flag-hoisting ceremony for which the Indian contingent has been waiting with excitement.

“The flag hoisting ceremony will be held on February 16 and we all are anticipating the ceremony with excitement,” Winter Games Federation of India secretary Roshan Lal Thakur said.

Shiva Keshavan, Himanshu Thakur and Nadeem Iqbal took part in the opening ceremony on February 7 under the IOC flag as they entered the Games as Independent Olympic Participants (IOP).

But now, they would be able to walk under the Tricolour at the closing ceremony on February 23.

Cross-country skier Iqbal and Alpine skier Himanshu would also be able to compete in their events as Indian athletes.

Iqbal’s 15km classic run begins on February 14 while Himanshu’s Giant slalom event begins on February 19.