By Duncan Mackay

Pakistan at opening ceremony of London 2012February 7 - Pakistan has been warned that it faces joining its neighbours India and being suspended from the Olympics if the Government continues to interfere with the administration of its National Olympic Committee.

General Arif Hasan, President of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), has claimed that the Government-run Pakistan Sports Board is trying to set-up a parallel Olympic organisation. 

Pere Miro, director of National Olympic Committee relations at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has reacted by writing to the POA to confirm that it considers it to be the recognised body in Pakistan.

"As per the Olympic Charter, the IOC is the sole body that is entitled to recognise a National Olympic Committee," wrote Miro.

"It is regrettable to note that the repeated attempts of a number of individuals/bodies to act against the Olympic Charter and to destabilise the legitimate POA do not serve at all the interests of the Olympic movement and the athletes in Pakistan.

"On the contrary, this affects negatively the development of the Olympic Movement in Pakistan and has no effect but to expose the POA unnecessarily to protective measures from the IOC Executive Board, for which these individuals/bodies should be held responsible.

"Consequently, no organisation can claim to represent the POA or play the role of a National Olympic Committee in Pakistan.relations at the IOC."

The IOC recognises Hasan as the head of the POA after the former Army general won elections in February last year.

Hasan defeated Pakistan Amateur Athletics Federation chief Akram Sahi and Pakistan Hockey Federation President Qasim Zia in the election.

Syed Arif Hasan at deskGeneral Syed Arif Hasan is recognised by the IOC as the head of the Pakistan Olympic Association following his election in February 2012

The row has been simmering since before last year's Olympics in London when Arif Siddiqui alleged that the Islamabad Olympic Association, which is affiliated to the POA, were being victimised because they did not vote for Hasan in the elections.

Siddiqui revealed plans earlier this week to set up an interim Olympic body to administer sport in Pakistan and pledged to "hold free, fair and transparent" elections.

Pakistan made their Olympic debut at London in 1948 and have competed in every Games since, except Moscow in 1980 when they joined the American-led boycott after the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan.

They have won a total of 10 medals, three of them gold, all in hockey.

A total of 21 competitors represented Pakistan at London 2012, including its hockey team which were knocked out in the qualifying stages.

Pakistan made its debut in the Winter Olympics at Vancouver in 2010, when skier Muhammad Abbas finished 79th in the giant slalom.

An IOC suspension could put a question mark over their participation at Sochi 2014. 

"The IOC will continue to support the Pakistan Olympic Association, whose office-bearers were duly and democratically elected last year," said a spokesman for the IOC.

India were suspended by the IOC in December because it ignored repeated warnings not to elect officials tainted by corruption allegations.

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