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Tainted Bhanot aims to be back

Lalit Bhanot

New Delhi: Tainted sports administrator Lalit Bhanot filed his nomination for the post of secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), ending days of speculation on whether he will contest the November 25 elections.

There were questions marks over Bhanot’s eligibility to contest the polls especially after the Ethics Commission of the IOC had directed the IOA to bar him, along with Suresh Kalmadi and VK Verma, from the elections. Bhanot, who was jailed and later released in bail in connection with the alleged Commonwealth Games scam, however, said it was his democratic right to enter the fray. He would be representing Delhi Olympic Association (DOA).

Also to file his nomination on Friday for the post of IOA president was Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) supremo Abhay Chautala even though the government was gearing up to derecognise the boxing body for alleged irregularities during elections held in Patiala on September 23.

“The IABF did not adhere to the government guidelines and there were several complaints against them about the way they conducted the elections,” a top sports ministry official told The Telegraph.

“We had issued a showcause notice and gave a November 12 deadline. Since the IABF has not replied, we have no other option but to derecognise them,” the official said adding the decision would immediately bring a stop to all government financial assistance to IABF.

The IABF elections had seen its former president Chautala being nominated as the chairman only to facilitate his continuation in the federation, while his brother-in-law and Rajasthan MLA Ashok Matoria was elected the president. Several IABF officials resigned in protest against the violation of government guidelines.

While Chautala will contest against Randhir Singh, the battle for the secretary will be between Bhanot, Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) secretary general K Murugan and judo federation secretary Mukesh Kumar.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected the decision to hold the upcoming IOA elections under sports code of the government and said the polls will have to be held “exclusively” under the Olympic Charter and the IOA constitution.

In a letter to IOA, the world body said the sports code was “unacceptable” as it would violate the Olympic Charter and autonomy of National Olympic bodies. The 183-strong electoral college has three members from each National Sports Federation while each of the state association will have two representatives to cast votes.