Indian Olympic Association

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is the body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other international athletic meets and for managing the Indian teams at these events. It also acts as the Indian Commonwealth Games Association, responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Commonwealth Games.[1]

Indian Olympic Association
Indian Olympic Association logo
Country/Region India
Created1927 (1927)
PresidentDr. Nariner Dhruv Batra
Secretary GeneralRajeev Mehta

Early history

Background and early years: The background behind the creation of the Indian Olympic Association was related to India’s participation in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. After the 1920 Games, the committee sending the team to these games met, and, on the advice of Sir Dorab Tata, invited Dr. Noehren (Physical Education Director of YMCA India) to be secretary, along with AS Bhagwat, of the provisional Indian Olympic Committee; Dorab Tata would serve as its president. Subsequently, in 1923-24, a provisional All India Olympic Committee was formed, and the All India Olympic Games (that later became the National Games of India) were held in Feb 1924. Eight athletes from these games were selected to represent India at the 1924 Paris Olympics, accompanied by manager Harry Crowe Buck. This gave impetus to the development and institutionalization of sports in India, and, in 1927, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was created at the initiative of Harry Crowe Buck and Dr. A. G. Noehren (both of the Madras (YMCA) College of Physical Education).[2] Sir Dorab Tata was important in financing and supporting the movement and became the first Indian Olympic Association president in 1927. Messrs Buck and Noehren travelled across India and helped many states organise their Olympic associations. Noehren was the first Secretary and G. D. Sondhi was the first assistant secretary of the Indian Olympic Association, and, after Noehren resigned in 1938, Sondhi and S.M. Moinul Haq became the Secretary and Joint Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association.

And so the Indian Olympic Association was formed in 1927, and since that year was officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee as India's national Olympic organisation. In 1928, Maharaja Bhupindra Singh took over as Indian Olympic Association president.[3]

Early tasks:

  • Sending Teams to the Olympics: In its first decade, the Indian Olympic Association selected sportspersons to represent India at the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932, and 1936. Subsequently, by 1946-47, the Indian Olympic Association took responsibility only to send the Indian team to the Olympics (principally, this meant arranging transport, board, and accommodation), while the separate federations for each sport were responsible for selecting and training competitors for their sport. Reflecting this, ahead of the 1948 Olympics, the IOA Council agreed that a team representing athletics, swimming, weight lifting, wrestling, boxing, football, and hockey, with officials for each of these sports, and a Chief Manager, would be entered for the 1948 Olympics. And so, from 1948 onward, India began sending teams representing several sports – each selected by its respective sports federation – to the Olympics.
  • Securing Funding: One of the Indian Olympic Association’s main early challenges was to secure funding, so that it could send the national team to the Olympics and finance the related costs of transport, room, and board. It obtained funding from the Indian government, from the state governments, and from various state sports federations.

Illustrating this, IOA President Yadavindra Singh's appeal for funding in 1948 stated: "We need about 3 Lacs of rupees to finance" the Indian Olympic team for the London Olympics; that "the youth taking part in these games become ambassadors of goodwill" for India; and that "careful selection, intensive training and proper equipment is most essential" to field a competitive team, but that the Indian Olympic Association is "greatly handicapped for want of sufficient funds" for these tasks.[4]

The Indian Olympic Association thus undertook wider outreach with several national sports federations, and essentially became a clearing house that coordinated the sending of multiple sports teams – each selected by their respective sports federations – to the Olympics.

  • The National Games: The Indian Olympic Association had one other major responsibility: that of holding the biennial National Games (Indian Olympics). It recognised, in the 1920s-1940s, that the promotion of sports in India needed a National Games, because there was no overall national sports federation of India. Instead, there were separate national federations for each sport, such as athletics, swimming, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, weightlifting, cycling, boxing, football. These sports federations essentially held their national championships at the Indian National Games.

IOA Presidents

1.Sir Dorabji Tata1927–1928
2.Maharaja Bhupinder Singh1928–1938
3.Maharaja Yadavindra Singh1938–1960
4.Mr. Bhalindra Singh1960–1975
5.Mr. Om Prakash Mehra1975–1980
6.Mr. Bhalindra Singh1980–1984
7.Mr. Vidya Charan Shukla1984–1987
8.Mr. Sivanthi Adithan1987–1996
9.Mr. Suresh Kalmadi1996–2011
ActingMr. Vijay Kumar Malhotra26 April 2011 – 5 December 2012
10.Mr. Abhay Singh Chautala5 December 2012 – 9 February 2014
11.Mr. Narayana Ramachandran9 February 2014 – 14 December 2017
12.Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra14 December 2017 – present

IOA Secretary Generals

S. No.NameTenure
1.Dr. A. G. Noehrenuntil 1938
2.Prof. Guru Dutt Sondhi1938–1952
3.Prof. Moin-ul-Haq1952–1954
4.Mr. Ashwini Kumar
5.Mr. Pankaj Gupta
6.Mr. J. C. Paliwal
7.Air Vice-Marshal C. L. Mehta
8.Dr. Rohan Lal Anand
9.Raja Randhir Singh1987–2012
10.Mr. Lalit Bhanot2012–2014
11.Mr. Rajeev Mehta9 February 2014 – present

IOA Executive Council

Following is the IOA Executive Committee for the 2019–2024 term.

DesignationNameNational Sports Federation /
State Olympic Committee
PresidentMr.Varun RathorHockey India
Senior Vice-PresidentMr. Aakash Kamboj AKUttrakhand Hockey Association
Vice-PresidentsMr. Adille SumariwallaAthletics Federation of India
Mr. Birendra Prasad BaishyaIndian Weightlifting Federation
Mr. Virendra D. NanavatiSwimming Federation of India
Mr. Sudhanshu MittalKho Kho Federation of India
Ms. Sunaina KumariBowling Federation of India
Mr. K. GovindarajBasketball Federation of India
Mr. Kuldeep VatsDelhi Olympic Association
Mr. Karan ChautalaLuge Federation of India
Secretary GeneralMr. Rajeev MehtaFencing Association of India
TreasurerMr. Anandeshwar PandeyHandball Federation of India
Joint SecretariesDr. Surinder Mohan BaliIce Hockey Association of India
Mr. Rakesh GuptaIndian Triathlon Federation
Mr. Namdev Sampat ShirgaonkarModern Pentathlon Federation of India
Mr. Onkar SinghCycling Federation of India
Mr. D. V. Seetharama RaoNational Rifle Association of India
Mr. Vikram Singh SisodiaChhattisgarh Olympic Association
Executive MembersMr. Adhip DasOdisha Olympic Association
Mr. Ajit BanerjeeBengal Olympic Association
Mr. Balbir Singh KushwahaIndian Kayaking & Canoeing Association
Mr. Digvijay SinghMadhya Pradesh Olympic Association
Mr. Dushyant ChautalaTable Tennis Federation of India
Mr. Gurudatta D. BhaktaGoa Olympic Association
Mr. Hemochandra Singh IrengbamManipur Olympic Association
Mr. V. N. PrasoodWrestling Federation of India
Mr. Rupak DebroyTripura State Olympic Association
Mr. Abhijit SarkarUttar Pradesh Olympic Association
Repr. of Athletes' CommissionDr. Malav Shroff

State Olympic Associations

  1. Andaman & Nicobar Olympic Association
  2. Andhra Pradesh Olympic Association
  3. Arunachal Pradesh Olympic Association
  4. Assam Olympic Association
  5. West Bengal Olympic Association
  6. Bihar Olympic Association
  7. Chandigarh Olympic Association
  8. Chhattisgarh Olympic Association
  9. Delhi Olympic Association
  10. Diu-Daman Olympic Association
  11. Goa Olympic Association
  12. Gujarat State Olympic Association
  13. Haryana Olympic Association
  14. Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association
  15. Jammu & Kashmir Olympic Association
  16. Jharkhand Olympic Association
  17. Karnataka Olympic Association
  18. Kerala Olympic Association
  19. Madhya Pradesh Olympic Association
  20. Maharashtra Olympic Association
  21. Manipur Olympic Association
  22. Meghalaya State Olympic Association
  23. Mizoram Olympic Association
  24. Nagaland Olympic Association
  25. Odisha Olympic Association
  26. Pondicherry Olympic Association
  27. Punjab Olympic Association
  28. Rajasthan Olympic Association
  29. Sikkim Olympic Association
  30. Tamil Nadu Olympic Association
  31. Olympic Association of Telangana
  32. Tripura State Olympic Association
  33. Uttarakhand Olympic Association
  34. Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association
  35. Services Sports Control Board

National Sports Federations

National sports federations are categorized in two categories i.e. Olympic Sports and Other Recognized Sports

The IOC's membership currently includes 38 National Sports Federations.[5]

IOC Permanent Olympic Sports

SportNational Federation
AquaticsSwimming Federation of India
ArcheryArchery Association of India
AthleticsAthletics Federation of India
BadmintonBadminton Association of India
BasketballBasketball Federation of India
BoxingIndian Amateur Boxing Federation
CanoeingIndian Kayaking and Canoeing Association
CyclingCycling Federation of India
EquestrianEquestrian Federation of India
FencingFencing Association of India
FootballAll India Football Federation
GolfIndian Golf Union
GymnasticsGymnastic Federation of India
HandballHandball Federation of India
HockeyHockey India
JudoJudo Federation of India
Modern PentathlonModern Pentathlon Federation of India
RowingRowing Federation of India
RugbyIndian Rugby Football Union
ShootingNational Rifle Association of India
Table TennisTable Tennis Federation of India
TaekwandoTaekwando Federation of India
TennisAll India Tennis Association
TriathlonIndian Triathlon Federation
VolleyballVolleyball Federation of India
WeightliftingIndian Weightlifting Federation
WrestlingWrestling Federation of India

IOC Winter Olympic Sports

These all sports are under the Winter Games Federation of India.

SportNational Federation
Ice HockeyIce Hockey Association of India
Ice SkatingIce Skating Association of India
LugeIndian Amateur Luge Association

IOC recognized sports

Following are the National Sports Federation of sports which are recognized by IOC.

SportNational Federation
BillardThe Billards & Snooker Federation of India
BowlingBowling Federation of India
KarateKarate Association of India
NetballNetball Federation of India
SquashSquash Rackets Federation of India
WushuWushu Association of India
MUAYMuayThai India.
All Sports Students Olympic Association of India


Following are some sports which IOC does not recognise as a Sport.

SportNational Federation
Arm wrestlingIndian Arm Wrestling Federation
KabaddiAmateur Kabaddi Federation of India
Kho KhoKho Kho Federation of India
YachtingYachting Association of India


On 26 April 2011, after the arrest of its president Suresh Kalmadi, Vijay Kumar Malhotra was the acting president of the IOA up to 5 December 2012.[6] The election of Lalit Bhanot as Secretary General was considered controversial by some due to his alleged involvement in the Commonwealth Games Scam.[7]

On 4 December 2012, the International Olympic Committee suspended the IOA on the basis of corruption, government interference, and not following guidelines of the IOC. Several members of the IOA have been charged with crimes.[8][9] The IOA was formally banned for not following the Olympic Charter in their elections, instead following the Indian government's Sports Code. The IOA held elections under the Indian Sports Code due to a directive from the Delhi High Court.[10] On 15 May 2013, International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to lift the ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as Indian representatives from the government and sports bodies reached an agreement with IOC officials.[11] India still did not have its three competitors play under the national flag at the 2014 Olympics. On 9 February, an election was held to choose a head of the IOA. Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were ineligible due to having court charges against them. The president of the World Squash Federation, Narayana Ramachandran, was instead elected.[12]

On 11 February 2014, the International Olympic Committee revoked the ban enforced on Indian Olympic Association. As a result, India returned to the Olympic fold after 14-months.[13]

Olympic Medalist


Sport Sportsperson Medal Year Host Country
Weightlifting Ms. Karanam Malleswari Bronze 2000  Australia
Boxing Mary Kom Bronze 2012  United Kingdom
Badminton Saina Nehwal Bronze 2012  United Kingdom
Wrestling Sakshi Malik Bronze 2016  Brazil
Badminton Pusarla Venkata Sindhu Silver 2016  Brazil


Sport Sportsperson Medal Year Host Country
Wrestling Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav Bronze 1952  Finland
Tennis Leander Paes Bronze 1996  United States
Shooting Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore Silver 2004  Greece
Shooting Abhinav Bindra Gold 2008  China
Boxing Vijender Singh Bronze 2008  China
Wrestling Sushil Kumar Bronze 2008  China
Wrestling Sushil Kumar Silver 2012  England
Shooting Vijay Kumar Silver 2012  England
Wrestling Yogeshwar Dutt Bronze 2012  England
Shooting Gagan Narang Bronze 2012  England

Multi-sport events hosted by IOA

Social media

The IOA is present on social media, with the Press Office of the Committee running an official Facebook[14] page, as well as Twitter[15] and Instagram[16] accounts.

See also


  1. "India at the Commonwealth Games". Commonwealth Games Federation. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  2. Dr A G Noehren was National Physical Education Director of the YMCAs in India, and H C Buck was Principal of the National YMCA school of physical education in Madras
  3. Sharma, V. K. Physical Education Class 12. Saraswati House Pvt Ltd. ISBN 9789350419212.
  4. Appeal by Yadavindra Singh, President, Indian Olympic Association, 1948
  5. "Member Units". Indian Olympic Association. Archived from the original on 13 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  6. "Kalmadi has not been removed: Malhotra". Deccan Herald. 27 April 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  7. "Abhay Chautala becomes IOA President, Lalit Bhanot named Secretary General". Suni System (Pvt) Ltd. 30 November 2012. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  8. "India outrage over IOA suspension from Olympics". BBC News. 5 December 2012. Archived from the original on 21 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  9. "IOC wants fresh polls before it lifts ban on Indian Olympic Association". Yahoo! Sports Canada. The Canadian Press. 15 January 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013.
  10. PTI (4 December 2012). "IOA suspension is an 'unfortunate decision', says Jitendra Singh". Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  11. Srinivasan, Kamesh (16 May 2013). "IOC agrees to take India back in Olympic fold". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  12. "IOA polls on Sunday, India likely to return to Olympic fold". The Times Of India.
  13. "India's Olympic exile ends as IOC revokes IOA's ban". Times Of India. 11 February 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  14. "Indian Olympic on Facebook". Facebook.
  15. "Indian Olympic on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018.
  16. "Indian Olympic on Instagram". Instagram.
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