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IOC invites IOA,Sports Ministry for talks

The IOC,though,expressed surprise over Malhotra's letter.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Mumbai | Published: April 13, 2013 1:32:22 am

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has invited representatives of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Ministry to Lausanne on May 7 in an attempt to break the three-way deadlock that has followed the country’s suspension from the Olympic movement in December last year.

The IOC has also reiterated its demand that the IOA must amend its constitution and conduct “free,fair,democratic and transparent” elections,in accordance with the IOC charter,before it is brought back into the Olympic fold.

In a letter dated April 12 to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh and acting president of the suspended IOA,VK Malhotra,IOC’s National Olympic Committee relations director Pere Miro said: “The IOC has the firm intention to resolve all pending issues affecting the Olympic Movement in India as soon as possible together with the relevant Government authorities and the suspended IOA. To that end,the IOC is pleased to invite you for a joint meeting to be held on 7 May 2013 in Lausanne.”

The IOC had earlier this year invited all the involved parties for a joint meeting to reach a consensus over the deadlock between the IOA and sports ministry over the sports code. However,the meeting was twice postponed. Earlier this month,Malhotra had written to the IOC accusing the Sports Ministry of acting against finding a way to the country’s return to the Olympic movement and sought directions from them to find a solution.

Raps Malhotra & Co

The IOC,though,expressed surprise over Malhotra’s letter. The world governing body said: “It is very surprising that you request our guidance as to what action you should take since we have made it clear since January this year that the only way to find a solution is for all parties to meet,discuss and agree on a roadmap.”

It is unlikely that either of the involved parties will skip the meeting this time round,though it is still not clear as to who will represent the ministry. “The sports minister was certainly not going to attend the meeting which was scheduled earlier as there was clear lack of consensus. This time,there is a chance he might go but a final decision will be taken next week,” a source said.

It is also learnt that a member from the Abhey Singh Chautala (most likely Narinder Batra) camp may be included in the delegation. Chautala was elected as the IOA president under controversial circumstances but the polls were declared null and void by the IOC. “If we need to build a consensus,then all the parties involved in this case need to be on the same page. Hence,it is possible that a member from the Chautala camp may attend the meeting in Lausanne,” the source added.

A meeting between the Sports Ministry,Malhotra and general secretary of the suspended IOA,Randhir Singh,is likely to be held before the Indian delegation goes to Lausanne. Malhotra and officials from the sports ministry have insisted that the differences over the sports code need to be sorted out before they meet the IOC.

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