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Cornered IOA vows to fight back

other Updated: Dec 05, 2012 03:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

As reported by HT, the IOC suspended the IOA on Tuesday. According to reports, the decision was taken during the IOC's executive board meeting at Lausanne. Government interference and inclusion of tainted officials were the main reasons for the parent body to disown the IOA.

IOA's president-elect, Abhey Singh Chautala felt it was a one-sided decision. "Their decision is not at all correct."

In fact, IOC's director general, Christope de Kepper, wrote to the IOA on Nov 28: "The IOA had failed to explain its position on the Olympic Charter as well as government Sports Code, and a proposal for suspension of the NOC will be presented to the executive board meeting."

Chautala blamed former international sportsperson-turned-administrator Randhir Singh for the mess. "He (Randhir) is a traitor," alleged Chautala. "Being an IOC member he should have helped India. We plan to take firm action against him (Randhir) in Wednesday's Annual General Meeting of the apex sports body. He will not be a part of the IOA again."

"There is enough time to sort out the issues," said Chautala on the impending danger of players not getting an opportunity to represent their country in the Olympics and the Asian Games. "The next Asian Games is in 2014. I would like to assure all the athletes that their future will not be impacted."

Randhir put the ball in Chautala's court. "In the past, the parent body had raised certain issues from time to time. But they (IOA officials) didn't agree to clean the system, and have paid the price now," he said of the officials not inclined to make changes for good governance.

In fact, both Randhir and Chautala were in the race for the post of IOA president. But Randhir and his group withdrew their nominations on November 25, the last date of withdrawal of nominations, clearing the deck for Chautala's group.

Terming the event as 'unfortunate' for Indian sportspersons, sports minister Jitendra Singh said, politics inside the IOA was responsible for the mess. "The situation could have been averted had the IOA agreed to incorporate certain changes in its constitution," he said. In fact, the IOC has never asked IOA to not follow the code. All it wanted was to incorporate the code it wanted to follow in its constitution so that its autonomy was not challenged.

The battle for control of the IOA is expected to continue for some time.