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IOA amends constitution

New Delhi: Left with no other option after being served an ultimatum by the International Olympic Committee, the Indian Olympic Association on Sunday amended its constitution to bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections, in a development which is expected to pave the way for India’s return to the Olympic fold.

The decision to amend the IOA constitution in line with IOC diktat was taken at its Special General Body Meeting here, after the international governing body had served the ultimatum last month that it would de-recognise India if the charge-framed persons are not barred from contesting polls.

The IOC had made it clear that the amendment will have to be made before December 10, or else it will recommend India’s de-recognition to the IOC Executive Board which will meet on December 10 and 11.

S Reghunathan, who chaired the GBM attended by 134 members, said both Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, the president and secretary general of the suspended IOA, would be ineligible to contest IOA elections to be held on February 9 once the IOC approves the amendment.

“The house unanimously decided to amend the relevant clause in IOA constitution which would bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections. Both Chautala and Bhanot told the House that they will not contest the upcoming elections. In fact, Chautala proposed the amendment while Bhanot seconded it,” he told a press conference.

“We also decided to hold elections on February 9.”

In its October 27 Special GBM, the IOA had sought to dilute IOC’s directive on the charge-framed clause by proposing to refer such cases to its internal ethics commission, which was later rejected by the world body.