Indian Olympic Association seeks direction from IOC on joint meeting

'Government was trying to give a new colour to the Sports Code that was the cause of IOA's ban.'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: April 4, 2013 6:28:14 pm

The Indian Olympic Association has sought directions from its world parent body on how to resolve the country’s ban from the Olympic movement after a crucial joint meeting was postponed for the second time in two months due to the stand-off between the IOA and the government.

A day after the joint meeting scheduled to be held in Lausanne,Switzerland on April 15 and 16 was postponed,IOA acting chief V K Malhotra wrote a letter to IOC accusing the Sports Ministry of acting against finding a way to the country’s return to the Olympic movement.

He said in the letter that the action of the Sports Ministry of appointing a committee to re-draft the controversial Sports Code negated the very purpose of having a joint meeting of the IOC,IOA and the government.

“We appreciate your concern for an early solution to the problem but we are rather constrained to say that the Ministry of Sports,Government of India is bent on destroying autonomy of the IOA and the National Sports Federations. The same is not acceptable to us,” Malhotra wrote in the letter addressed to IOC chief Jacques Rogge.

“While we endorsed your move for a dialogue involving the government,it has gone ahead and constituted a committee to re-draft the controversial sports bill,which is in total breach of the Olympic Charter,” Malhotra further wrote.

He claimed that the government was trying to give a new colour to the Sports Code that was the cause of IOA’s ban.

“You will recapitulate that it is because of government guidelines (sports code) that IOC suspended the IOA and now the whole exercise is being repeated by the government in form of a sports bill,trying to give it a colour of a new legislation,” he said.

“The government has not taken us into confidence on any count and has not shown any interest in respecting your directive to find a common ground to end this deadlock,” said Malhotra.

“In these circumstances,we like the IOC to guide us as to what action we should take before meeting you,as desired. We await your early response so that a date is fixed for the meeting at the IOC headquarters,” he added.

Malhotra had yesterday written a letter to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh,stating that the joint meeting with the IOC officials will have no significance until and unless the government clarifies its stand on the Sports Code.

“The IOC has invited me along with other senior members of the IOA to their headquarters for the discussion to resolve the ongoing crisis arising out of suspension of IOA by IOC. This action of IOC was done on account of the fact that the Government Sport Code was followed as per the High Court’s directives in the IOA elections,” he had said.

“The IOC has also desired that the government should also participate in the deliberations to be held in Lausanne. It therefore makes it pertinent for the government to clarify its stand on the Sports Code notified by it in January 2012.

“Also,the government needs to clarify its latest position about constitution of a committee to re-draft the Sports Bill,which encompasses the earlier guidelines and regulations imposed by it on the IOA and all National Sports Federations,” Malhotra had stated.

The joint meeting was supposed to be attended by Malhotra,IOC’s representative in India Randhir Singh,Sports Secretary P K Deb from the government’s side,Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra and Yachting Association of India’s Malav Shroff.

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