Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014

It’s wait and watch for IOA before acting against Rajeev Mehta

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Mumbai | Posted: August 4, 2014 2:58 am | Updated: August 4, 2014 4:29 pm

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will wait for a detailed report of the incident involving secretary general Rajeev Mehta before deciding on the future course of action. Mehta was arrested by the Glasgow police in the early hours of Saturday, after being allegedly involved in a drunk-driving incident. He will be produced in a Glasgow court on Monday.

Mehta, who was driving without a license, allegedly hit a car while returning to his hotel from a party and fled from the spot.

In a separate incident, international wrestling referee Virender Malik was also arrested on Saturday morning for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel receptionist. He too will be produced in court on Monday.

It is learnt that IOA president N Ramachandran spoke to a few senior members of the federation on Sunday and expressed anguish over Mehta’s actions.

“Ramachandran was highly critical of Mehta’s behaviour, especially because it comes at a time when the public image of the IOA is not so good and there is an effort to rebuild it,” a source said. “At the moment, though, everything is based on hearsay.

The IOA is anxiously waiting for more facts to emerge and they will decide on the future course of action once Mehta appears in the court on Monday, as that will give them an idea as to what exactly is the offence that he is charged for.”

Under the new IOA constitution, which was adopted after the body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee, a charge-sheeted official who has been imprisoned is not allowed to occupy a post in the association.

Mehta is as a compromise candidate and had the blessings of disgraced officials Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, whose controversial elections as IOA’s president and secretary general respectively had led to India’s suspension by the IOC in 2012.

The Dehradun-based Mehta is considered to be an ‘extremely lucky’ sports administrator, since he is the first official from a low-profile sports federation to go on and occupy the high profile post of IOA secretary-general.

The IOA, meanwhile, has distanced itself from Malik saying he was not a part of the association nor was a member of the Indian contingent. Malik has officiated in several international tournaments and is the brother of the Indian wrestling team’s chief coach Kuldeep Malik.

”I am totally unaware of the incident. His flight to India was one hour before mine on Saturday morning, so I assumed he would have reached. I was shocked to see these reports on TV. I haven’t even managed to talk to anyone there,” Kuldeep said.

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