IOA President; ITTF Awards; ATR in Sochi

(ATR) Ramachandran in as IOA president .. Rio CEO promises "corruption-free games" ... ITTF hands out awards ... ATR in Sochi.

New IOA President

President of the World Squash Federation Narayna Ramachandran will be the next president of the Indian Olympic Association.

Ramachandran was the only person to apply for a candidacy in the presidential race. Hockey India vice president Rajiv Mehta will serve as secretary general and All India Tennis Association president Anil Khanna won the treasurer position. Both ran unopposed.

Ramachandran previously served as IOA treasurer from 2008 to 2012. While president of the World Squash Federation, the sport made the shortlist for Olympic inclusion in 2020. Squash lost out to wrestling for the final spot in the program.

The Indian NOC was suspended by the IOC in 2012 after it failed to hold elections specified in its constitution.

Two of Ramachandran’s main backers, Abhay Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, were elected right before the IOC suspended the IOA.

Chautala’s election caused the IOC to suspend India, while Bhanot was charged with corruption for his involvement in the organization of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Both candidates were ineligible to stand for election due to IOC rules.

Rio CEO Promises Corruption-Free Games

The chief executive of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee thinks the 2016 Games can show that Brazil is capable of running a corruption free Games.

Sidney Levy told Bloomberg that the new operating budget shows that things in Brazil can be done transparently and "without corruption."

"The time has come for the Brazilian people to understand and to believe that there are people in Brazil skilled enough to raise and spend 7 billion reais in a transparent way," Levy said in an interview.

The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee announced its operating budget will be 7 billion reais, and the capital spending plan will be around 30 billion reais.

"They think it’s all mixed up with friends of him, friends of so-and-so the money behind the table, these guys are all going to be rich at the end. They really think that. So we’re here to prove the opposite."

EOC Website

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) have restructured their digital platforms in an attempt to promote integration of the National Olympic Committees (NOC) it presides over.

The new Eurolympic.org allows for easier communications between member federations, emphasizes the importance of social media, and provides information on all events the European Olympic Committees are associated with, including the European Youth Olympic Festival and the Games of the Small States of Europe.

A new Twitter handle (@EOCMedia) has also been created to allow Olympic news to reach a wider audience.

The website, operated by an EOC staff in Rome, was supported by funds previously delegated to the inaugural European Games, set to take place in 2015 in Baku.

Of the new website, Patrick Hickey, EOC president, said "I am very proud that we are able to support our NOCs so well at the start of 2014."

ITTF Awards

The inaugural ITTF Stars Swards took place January 11 in Dubai.

"The ITTF is extremely happy about the first ever edition of the ITTF Star Awards. Not only because we raised over 200k for Dream Building, but also having the chance to reward our very talented players and promote the sport of table tennis globally," ITTF marketing director Steve Dainton told Around the Rings.

"We look forward to making the Star Awards even bigger and better next time."

A full list of award winners and highlights can be found in the video below.

Around the Rings in Sochi

The Around the Rings staff has begun its migration to Sochi. In the coming week, on-the-scene coverage will be coming from the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.Click here for more information.

Written by Aaron BauerandAndrew Murrell

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