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IOA blames government

New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Saturday, chose to put the blame on the government for creating the vexed sports code dispute that led to International Olympic Committee’s threat to suspend India.

The IOA acting-president, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, in his reply to the IOC ultimatum to either follow the Olympic Charter in its December 5 elections or face ban, said that India was committed to IOC guidelines and would fight against the government interference.

“The IOA, at all times, has been against the government sports code/guidelines,” the IOA letter to the IOC president Jacques Rogge said, adding that it would like to join hands with the IOC to see that the government withdraws the code.

Interestingly, the sports ministry, on Friday, had told the nine-member IOA delegation that it stood by the sports code and would like the IOA to amend its constitution accordingly.

“The IOA, actually, is reluctant to incorporate the age and tenure clause in its constitution because it would force a lot of their senior officials to quit their posts,” claimed a sports ministry official. “If this clause in the sports code becomes a part of the IOA constitution, then the IOC will surely not object to it,” he added.

Paragraph 1.5 of the bylaw in the IOC rules 27 and 28 says: “The officers and members of the executive board of an NOC shall be elected in accordance with the NOC’s statues, for a term of office not exceeding four years…”

Though Abhay Chautala, the IOA president elect, said on Friday that sports code had to be followed in the elections because of court directives, Malhotra, in his letter, said that the elections are being held under the IOA constitution as none of the nominations was rejected.