IOA unaware of discussions on future of torch relay
The Indian Olympic Association on Tuesday said it was unaware of any move to scrap the torch relay for the Beijing Games after it became the subject of unprecedented protests against China's human rights record and the crackdown on Tibetans.
The torch relay has seen widespread protests after it started in Olympia, Greece, on March 24 with agitators disrupting it at almost every leg.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said the world body will discuss the future of the torch relay at its Executive Board meeting.
"This is something that obviously has to be discussed by the Executive Board," Rogge said.
But IOA said it was not aware of any such prospect.
"I have not heard anything like that yet. As far as I am concerned, the torch relay is on," IOA President Suresh Kalmadi told PTI.
The torch relay legs in Istanbul, London and Paris saw unprecedented protests with the authorities in the French capital having to put out the flame more than once.
The torch arrives in India on April 17 amid tight security and Kalmadi was confident the event will go off smoothly.
"I don't see any problems in India. In fact, we were prepared before all the trouble in London and Paris," he said.
Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has declined to carry the torch in protest against China's treatment of Tibetans.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will be among the sportspersons carrying the torch in the national capital, with the likes of Milkha Singh, Pullela Gopichand, Anju Bobby George, PT Usha and GS Randhawa.