Ministry welcomes IOA's move

Association regrets ‘inconvenience and embarrassment caused’ 

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 11.01.17

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Tuesday, decided to make peace with the government and revoked the appointments of tainted officials - Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala - as life presidents.

The decision of the apex sports body brought the desired result almost immediately, as the sports ministry welcomed the move and said the IOA would be re-recognised soon.

Last month, the IOA and the sports ministry were on a collision course when the former appointed Kalmadi and Chautala as life presidents, a decision which left the government livid.

Describing the decision to bring back two charge-sheeted officials a huge blow to transparency and good governance, the sports ministry de-recognised the IOA and demanded the decision to be withdrawn immediately.

On Monday, the senior IOA officials met in the capital and decided to revoke the decision on technical ground.

"In the annual general meeting held in Chennai on 27.12 2016, at the fag end of the meeting, a point was raised by a member stating that IOA should nominate two (two) life presidents," Ramachandran said in the letter addressed to sports secretary Injeti Srinivas.

"As no notice in writing was received (within) at least seven clear days as per the constitution clause VII (h) no resolution was put to vote and passed," Ramachandran said.

Ramachandran said that members could make proposals in a meeting but if it did not meet the provisions of the constitution, it could not be assumed that the proposal had been approved and passed in the meeting.

"In the view of the above, since the proposal was not in accordance with the constitution, the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of IOA and to all is sincerely regretted," Ramachandran said.

The sports minister Vijay Goel said: "Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has cancelled the appointment of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as lifetime presidents of IOA.

"I am happy that IOA has reversed its decision which augurs well for governance of sports in the country."

Kalmadi, however, had declined to accept the post till his name was cleared, following the outrage, while, after initial defiance, Chautala said he would also step aside should the International Olympic Committee (IOC) raise any objections.

"This is with reference to the letter dated 30th December suspending the deemed recognition of the Indian Olympic Association which is uncalled for... a unilateral decision has been taken without hearing us," Ramachandran wrote to Srinivas in reply to the Ministry's showcause notice.

While Kalmadi is an accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scam and has also spent nine months in jail, Chautala is facing a trial in disproportionate assets case.