September 18, 2013 2:36:21 am
Realising they’ve hit a dead end,senior members of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have requested Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot,the president and secretary general of the suspended body,to step down and accept ethics clause as demanded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOA officials met informally in New Delhi on Tuesday and it was proposed that they agree to the contentious clause,which bars persons facing criminal and corruption charges from contesting the elections,sources said. It is believed that Chautala and Bhanot have asked for a couple of days’ time as the decision will have a direct impact on their future in the association.
There is another meeting likely to be held later this week,where a final decision is likely to be taken. Most of the members have realised that there is no way out for the IOA apart from accepting IOC’s demands. So it has been suggested to Chautala and Bhanot that they stay away from the association’s affairs and can name their proxies instead, the source said.
The members also pointed out that the government,which is siding with the IOC,is also open to the idea of adopting an ad-hoc body,which will strengthen Randhir Singh’s position within the IOA. If an ad-hoc body is appointed,it would mean that the doors will be closed for many current members. So in the larger interest of the association and its members,it was proposed that we should amend the constitution as per IOC’s demands,” added the source.
The IOA has been under pressure to act after the IOC ordered them to amend the constitution by October 31 and conduct fresh elections latest by December 15. The world governing body has been demanding that charge-sheeted persons be kept out of IOA’s election process. The IOA raised objection against this clause,citing that politicians facing similar charges were allowed by the ‘law of the land’ to contest polls.
Subsequently,in its General Assembly meeting on August 25,they decided that only individuals convicted to two years of imprisonment or more should be kept out of the elections. The IOA also decided that those who have been handed a sentence of less than two years should be referred to the Ethics Commission. The IOC Executive Board,which met in Buenos Aires on September 4,rejected the IOA’s stand.
It is learnt that Chautala said that a delegation be sent to Laussanne to discuss the matter with new IOC president Thomas Bach,hoping to strike a bargain. However,the members rejected the idea,saying the delaying tactics would not help their cause. When contacted,most of the IOA members refused to speak on the issue on record but said they were expecting a ‘positive’ development in two or three days.
Arjuna hopes bleak
After weeks of uncertainty and several twists later,it is learnt that Olympian Renjith Maheswary is unlikely to receive the Arjuna Award.
Sources suggested that the sports ministry has enough evidence against him and considering that it has been established that he had tested positive for a drug test in September 2008 and later suspended for three months,there is no reason for him to get the award.
The ministry has a letter written by the Athletics Federation of India which says Maheswary was suspended for a doping-related offence. He did not even challenge AFI’s decision and served the suspension. That is enough for them to take back the award, the source said.
A final decision will be taken by the sports minister Jitender Singh in the next couple of days.
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