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IOA president N Ramachandran not to seek second term

N Ramachandran, under fire for the way he has handled the election process, has informed Indian Olympic Association (IOA) members that he will not “stand for election as president of in the ensuing elections”

other sports Updated: Nov 16, 2017 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Indian Olympic Association,IOA,N Ramachandran
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections have been mired in controversy as a group opposed N Ramachandran’s attempts to hold the elective AGM in Chennai, his hometown.(Getty Images)

N Ramachandran will not be seeking a second term as president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in the elections to be held on December 14.

N Ramachandran, under fire for his style of functioning and the way he has handled the election process, has informed IOA members he will not “stand for election as president of the IOA in the ensuing elections” as he is approaching 70 and won’t be able to abide by the IOA constitution and guidelines framed by the International Olympic Committee.

“I firmly believe my successor should have a full term of four years and I wish him and the new team all the very best,” Ramachandran informed members in a letter on Thursday. The communication on IOA letterhead was released to the media by the group opposing him.

The elections have been mired in controversy as a group opposed Ramachandran’s attempts to hold the elective AGM in Chennai, his hometown. IOA was forced to change the venue following opposition from executive council members, deciding to hold the AGM in Delhi.

The faction led by secretary general Rajiv Mehta gained upper hand in the power struggle in the IOA after 21 members attended an executive council meeting called by him with 19 of them voting in favour of shifting the AGM venue to Delhi.

The feeling in IOA circles was that by holding the AGM in Chennai, Ramachandran was angling for a second term, which could have turned out to be for only one year as he is 69 and the National Sports Code has imposed an age restriction of 70, and put a person close to him in place as an interim chief to complete the term. But with the majority of EC members coming together, hopes of such a move receded.

With Ramachandran pushed into a corner, the Tamil Nadu strongman must have realised the numbers were stacked against him. He opted out citing his age.

Ramachandran had an acrimonious relationship with Mehta and had a running battle with the then Hockey India president Narinder Batra, who is touted as one of the contenders to the top post.

Batra, the international hockey federation (FIH) president, has the support of Mehta and some other senior members while former IOA secretary general Lalit Bhanot, forced out of IOA after being elected secretary general in 2012 under pressure from IOC as he was facing corruption allegations after spending almost a year in judicial custody, is also hoping to make a comeback.

Mehta confirmed receipt of Ramachandran’s decision.

However, he said the elections will go ahead as per schedule and Ramachandran will attend the AGM on December 14.

Attempts to contact Ramachandran for a reaction did not get any response.

First Published: Nov 16, 2017 22:46 IST