IOA shows little intent to clean up
In December 2012, the image of Indian sports hit rock bottom when the IOA was suspended by the IOC on the grounds of violating the Olympics Charter and allowing tainted officials to hold key posts in its setup.other Updated: Apr 19, 2014 01:19 IST
In December 2012, the image of Indian sports hit rock bottom when the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was suspended by the International Olympic Committee on the grounds of violating the Olympics Charter and allowing tainted officials to hold key posts in its setup.
But instead of beginning afresh after getting reinstated by the world body, the newly elected office-bearers of the IOA, it seems, are yet to show the world that they really mean business.
The IOA on Friday choose Raj Singh, secretary-general of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), as India’s Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Games beginning in Glasgow from July 23.
Raj Singh is a former international referee and a Dronacharya. But the fact that in the past he had manipulated records to avail financial assistance from the government and travel the world as wrestling referee has been well documented. And last year he had even misrepresented facts to win the Dronacharya Award.
Reason for Raj Singh’s nomination, says a functionary of the IOA, is to oblige those who had supported the ruling faction in the IOA elections. IOA president N Ramachandran could not be reached for comments.
“Chef de Mission’s job involves a lot of paperwork and deadlines. And missing a single event could be disastrous for the players,” said PK Muralidharan Raja, who was India’s Chef de Mission for the London Games.
In fact, IOA had messed up naming the Chef de Mission for the London Games. Tarlochan Singh (archery) and BP Baishya (weightlifting) both were too eager to lead the Indian contingent and it resulted in India missing out on the preliminary meetings. Finally, Ajit Pal Singh was named. But he could not go due to health reasons. Raja, the deputy Chef de Mission, led the contingent by default.
With nearly three months to go for Glasgow, Raj Singh, however, said this time he hadn’t pulled any strings. “IOA wanted me to lead the nation and I agreed.”