The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 4 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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IOC keeps IOA waiting

New Delhi: International Olympic Committee (IOC), it seems, has given India the cold shoulder. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had requested the international body for a meeting, but the IOC instead, according to sources, chose to stonewall the request.

A two-member IOA delegation, comprising Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narendra Batra and Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) president RK Anand, were supposed to meet the IOC officials in Lausanne on the eve of the crucial executive board meeting on December 4-5.

But so far, the IOC has not allotted any time to the Indian duo.

“Both our representatives are still in Delhi and are unlikely to get a chance to meet the IOC brass before the executive board meeting,” a senior IOA official told The Telegraph on Monday.

“Even if we manage to arrange a meeting, it would surely be after the executive meeting,” he said.

The development is definitely a huge setback for the IOA, which has been threatened with suspension by the IOC for not working as per the Olympic Charter for the December 5 elections.

The IOC is also upset with India for adhering to the controversial government sports code.

The IOA, in its reply, argued that it always stuck to the Olympic Charter and requested the IOC to discuss the issue with the sports ministry. So far, the IOC has not replied to the letter.

Given the current scenario, there is every possibility that the IOA might get suspended in the next two days.

The ban, however, would not stop Indian athletes from participating, though it would force them to compete under the Olympic flag.

What makes the matter worse is the fact that the IOC ethics commission, in October, had warned the Indian body against fielding three of its tainted officials — Suresh Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma — in the IOA elections.

Bhanot, however, has already been elected the secretary general unopposed. This also may go against the IOA in the executive board meeting.

IOA, however, is going ahead with its December 5 elections. While Abhay Chautala and Bhanot have been elected unopposed as president and secretary general respectively, there will also be no contest for the posts of treasurer, senior vice-president and two IOC members.

Chances are that some of the national federations, known for their loyalty towards outgoing secretary general Randhir Singh, may stay away from the elections for vice-presidents, joint secretaries and executive members.

Randhir had earlier withdrawn his candidature for the post of president alleging the elections are being held against the Olympic Charter.