New Delhi: Newly-elected Indian Olympic Association (IOA) N.Ramachandran said his immediate task was to assure that India returns to the Olympic fold at the earliest after a 14-month suspension.

“My immediate job is ensure that India returns to Olympic fold and our athletes take part in international events under the national flag,” he said.

Ramchandran said the newly elected IOA office bearers will be in charge for three years till 2016 unless the IOC extends the term by another 12 months.

“Under the rules, the term is from Olympic year to Olympic year. One year has gone and so it will be till 2016. But if the IOC wishes, our term can be extended by a year,” he said.

Ramachandran, who is the brother of BCCI boss Narayanaswami Srinvasan, said the IOA would also do its best to arrange funds for Indian athletes to shine in international events and Olympics through corporate sponsorships.

“We want to work for the benefit of athletes. They should be the beneficiaries. The athletes need funding to win medals in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics. We have to provide the funds. It may come from the government or from the corporates. I would try to find funding from corporate houses,” he said.

Ramachandran said he doesn’t want to look back at what happened in the last 14 months.

“I don’t look back at the past. I want to look at present and future. That’s what I can do,” he said.

Ramachandran also refused to comment when asked how he felt to be at the helm of a powerful sports body like his brother, the BCCI president.

“I am with the IOA. I am the head of IOA and I have nothing to do with cricket.”

Source: IANS