The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) may be in turmoil with its president behind bars, but at its executive council meeting on Tuesday, its members made it apparent that they would resist outside attempts at reform, even if those attempts come from the government.
The council members met to unanimously reject the National Sports Development Bill, 2011, calling it "draconian and unconstitutional." The IOA said the bill was a "devious" attempt to take away the power of the state government and centralise it in the hands of the union government. "If the government is going to implement such measures in sports, then it should be implemented in all spheres of governance," said officiating president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, reacting to the tenure and age limit for IOA presidency in the bill. Malhotra said if the sports ministry insisted on making the bill into a law, the IOA would take up the matter with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Given that around 20 state federations have agreed to the bills' proposals, the IOA could be left with little choice on the matter. Ministry sources told HT that it was "not bothered" and that it would table the bill in the monsoon session of the parliament.
IOA shuns Kalmadi
The executive council distanced itself from the controversy surrounding Suresh Kalmadi, its president. Speaking to media, Malhotra said matters concerning Kalmadi had nothing to do with the IOA. "It is a matter being faced by Kalmadi alone."