LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The IOC will issue a "roadmap" for India's return to the Olympic fold after both sides reached agreement Wednesday on the terms for lifting the country's suspension.
The Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the world body in December for failing to comply with the Olympic Charter in its elections, a major embarrassment for the world's second most populous nation.
The IOC said Wednesday it received "strong guarantees and a clear commitment" that the Indian government will respect the autonomy of the Olympic movement.
The IOC said the Indian body should review its constitution and hold "free, fair, democratic and transparent elections" based on the Olympic Charter and without political interference.
"In addition, a mutual understanding was reached to establish close cooperation between all parties concerned," the IOC said in a statement. "It was agreed in particular that the drafting of the new sports bill will be undertaken in close coordination with the IOA and the national federations, and with prior consultation with the IOC to ensure that it will be fully compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Movement."
In the meantime, the IOC said it will consider "the necessary measures" before lifting India's suspension.
"The entire process will be closely monitored and supervised by the IOC, which will issue a roadmap for the suspended IOA and all its members to follow," the statement said.
The Indian association was suspended by the IOC on Dec. 4 after holding elections based on a government sports code and not in accordance with its own constitution.
The IOC's ethics commission also ruled at the time that tainted officials shouldn't hold administrative posts. Lalit Bhanot was declared elected unopposed as the IOA' s new secretary-general despite spending close to a year in jail for corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Indian Sports Minister Jitender Singh said Wednesday he was hopeful the suspension would be lifted soon.
"The road map has been decided to bring India back in the Olympic fold and more details are being worked out," Jitender told the NDTV news channel. "The IOC has agreed to work with the Indian government on a new proposed sports code, which is a major achievement. The IOC, IOA and the government are on the same page."
Jitender led a four-member delegation that met with IOC representatives on Wednesday.
Members of the IOA also met the IOC officials, though the main officials of the body recognized by the IOC — acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra and secretary-general Randhir Singh — boycotted the meeting. They objected to the IOC invitation to representatives of the body that was elected in the illegal elections on Dec. 5.
An Olympic suspension means a national body is ineligible for IOC funding, officials from the suspended federation are barred from attending international meetings and its athletes can't compete under their national flag at the Olympics.