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IOC issues fresh threat to IOA

IOC president Jacques Rogge

New Delhi: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), on Wednesday, fired another salvo at the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) when it renewed its threat to suspend India unless the Olympic Charter is followed in the elections, scheduled for December 5.

The IOC, in a letter to IOA acting-president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, also refused to send any delegate to India for discussions since the Indian apex body was clearly defying the instruction of not following the government sports code for elections.

On a day when it became clear that the Abhay Chautala-led group would wrest power in the IOA unopposed, after Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) secretary K Murugan withdrew from the contest for the post of general secretary, the IOC once again took a tough stance, questioning whether the elections would actually be held on December 5.

Murugan’s withdrawal also paved the way for tainted Commonwealth Games official Lalit Bhanot to become the secretary general, unopposed. Chautala is set to become the president after Randhir Singh decided to withdraw his candidature a couple of days ago.

The IOC, however, was in no mood to compromise. “…The IOC and OCA will not send delegates to India at this stage. From your letter of November 26, we came to the conclusion that the IOA and the Government authorities are unable to rectify the situation in order for the IOA elections to be conducted in line with the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution, as required by the IOC,” said the letter written by Christophe de Kepper, IOC Director General.

“In view of the above, it is hereby confirmed that a proposal for suspension of the IOA will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting, on December 4-5, 2012, based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter.

“As mentioned in the IOC /OCA letter of November 23, the IOA is invited to provide all necessary explanations and to present its position in writing to the IOC no later than November 30, 2012,” the letter further said.

The IOC, headed by president Jacques Rogge, also slammed the IOA for continuing with the election process despite its clear communication that such a poll will not be recognised by it and the OCA.

“It is therefore extremely surprising and — once again contradictory — that you continue to move ahead with the IOA’s election process. The IOA and OCA have already made it clear that such ‘election process’ — if it is held — will not be recognised by the IOC and OCA,” the letter said.

While majority in the IOA are against the sports code as it restricts the age and tenure of the national sports federations (NSFs) officials, it is also not possible to defy the directive of the court, which has asked the IOA to hold elections under the code.

The Chautala group is clearly blaming Randhir for the mess, saying he had always misled the IOC. “The fear of ouster from the IOA has made Randhir desperate. He is believed to be giving wrong advises to IOC,” an official claimed.