The Indian Olympic Association has been suspended for not replying to a sports ministry showcause notice that asked the body to explain why it had named Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay SIngh Chautala as life-presidents.
The sports ministry had issued the showcause notice on December 28, a day after the association’s AGM in Chennai had unanimously decided to bring back former chiefs Kalmadi and Chautala as life patrons.
The sports ministry had given the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) three days to reply to the notice. That deadline expired on Friday. The IOA has sought a 15-day period to respond, saying its president N. Ramachandran “is abroad.”
- On December 27, the IOA announced its decision to award Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala life presidency
- There was instant backlash, leading to Kalmadi -- who is tainted by the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal -- saying he would not take up the position until his name was cleared
- Two days later, on December 29, Chautala -- who has been chargesheeted in a disproportionate assets case -- offered to “sacrifice” his position “in the best interest of Indian sports”
- On Friday, the government moved against the body, suspending it until the life presidency to Kalmadi and Chautala was withdrawn
Sports minister Vijay Goel told reporters on Friday evening that the IOA was “being suspended” till Kalmadi and Chautala were removed officially. Both Kalmadi and Chautala have corruption charges against them.
“Sports is a public property and Indian Olympic Association has to abide by the laws of the land. It is not their personal property and do whatever they want,” said Goel at his Ashoka Road residence.
Kalmadi has already taken a backward step, declining the IOA offer after he had come under heavy fire from several quarters that highlighted his tainted record as IOA chief.
In a letter to the IOA earlier this week, Kalmadi wrote the time to accept the role of life president was not “appropriate” and he will accept it when his “name will be cleared.”
Earlier in the day, Narinder Batra, India’s newly elected president of the world hockey federation (FIH), resigned from the post of associate vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
In a communication to Ramachandran and IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta, Batra said even after three days of hastily nominating Kalmadi and Chautala, no action has been taken to withdraw the nominations. Batra also said the item of nominating wasn’t even there on IOA’s annual general body meeting agenda.
“Keeping in mind that you/IOA have not taken any action in withdrawing the nomination of Life President of IOA even after 3 days of the AGM, hence as an expression of my protest and objection against the decision, I hereby submit my resignation from the post of Associate Vice-President of Indian Olympic Association,” Batra said.