New Delhi/Mumbai: Fifteen leading Indian sportspersons, including Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, have decided to sign a mass petition to be submitted to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge demanding a corruption-free Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in future.
The leading athletes, who have started a campaign on the Internet for all sports fans to sign the petition, hoped the IOC would consider their demands in the executive committee meeting, beginning Thursday in Buenos Aires.
While Bindra is a known critic of the IOA politics, other Olympics medallists like wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt have also joined him in asking parent body to focus on ethics and good governance.
The petition has been signed by top sportspersons such as Mahesh Bhupathi, shooters Ronjan Sodhi and Joydeep Karmakar and athlete Reeth Abraham.
Supporting the IOC stand, the athletes said all corrupt officials should be kept out of the IOA and they should not be allowed to contest in the upcoming elections of the body.
“Indian athletes presently are unable to compete for India under the Tricolour in any multi-discipline international competition. This is because IOA is suspended from Olympic movement for poor ethical and governance standards,” the petition said.
“As athletes we want more than anybody or anything else for India to be reinstated into the Olympic fold. We were delighted by the IOC recommendations and it was the first time that the Indian sport fraternity could opt for sweeping reforms. However, we are now deeply troubled by the outcomes after the last meeting,” the petition further stated.
Bindra had said similar things before, especially when he accompanied the IOC officials as the part of the delegation that was led by sports minister Jitendra Singh to discuss the IOA suspension.
“To a certain extent, yes the IOA has failed the country,” Bindra said. “A lot needs to be done for Indian sport and with our potential we are nowhere near where we can be.
“We are still stuck with fighting on clauses that are absolutely non-negotiable... It’s all about ethics. The ethical standards are laid down under the Olympic Charter and to defy that is not good. It does not go well for the Olympic movement,” he added.
Bindra said there has been good response to the petition, pleading the world governing body to maintain the “highest moral standards” of the Olympic Movement in the country.
“We are at a stage where we can either get reforms in place or go back to the status-quo,” he said, adding, “This petition was started because of all that has happened in the last few weeks.