The upcoming meeting between representatives of the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on one side and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the other, on May 15, is unlikely to resolve the issue of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) re-joining the Olympic movement anytime soon.
With IOA acting president, VK Malhotra, and India's IOC member, Randhir Singh, considered to be key officials, deciding to pull out of the crucial meeting scheduled in Lausanne, it might not yield any result. An IOA official said the meeting would be a preliminary discussion on India's suspension by the IOC. "To get back into the Olympic movement would take time."
The issue of the country's two heavyweight sports administrators withdrawing would reflect poorly when the officials meet on May 15. On Thursday, after the IOC decided to include Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra and Jharkhand Olympic Association president, RK Anand, in the delegation, Malhotra, in particular, reacted sharply. "I withdraw my name from the delegation," the veteran sports administrator said in a statement.
In a communication to IOC chief, Jacques Rogge, Malhotra said, "Since the IOC has included names recommended by the suspended IOA (Chautala group) in the delegation, it indicates the IOC is not sticking to its earlier stand of 'not communicating' with officials of the suspended IOA. I also withdraw the list of delegation named by me," Malhotra said in his letter to IOC chief.
Besides Malhotra, the IOA delegation had Tarlochan Singh, S Reghunathan and N Ramachandran as its other members. While announcing the delegation on May 3, the names of Batra and Anand were not included. Batra, it is learnt, played a key role in convincing the IOC official to clear two more names for the meeting. Batra in fact has already reached Lausanne.
The ministry, however, will not pull out of the meeting.