New Delhi: Even as the Indian Olympic Association's defiance goes on, the International Olympic Committee has stuck to its stand. The IOC president Jacques Rogge has clearly stated that the elections need to be according to the Olympic charter.
When NDTV asked Rogge that would they consider an ad-hoc body with Randhir Singh at the helm, the IOC president said, "The national Olympic committee is suspended and will remain suspended until we receive a clear indication and commitment that the election will be held under the Olympic charter. We do not consider a provisional body if that's what you mean by ad-hoc. We do not consider that at this stage."
When asked that what if government's interference problem was solved but Lalit Bhanot stayed in the IOA, he replied, "Let me be very clear. We suspended the IOA because it had the intention to conduct election under rules that are contrary to the Olympic charter. We said very clearly to the IOA that its general assembly must be conducted under the rules of the Olympic charter. It was clearly indicated to us that it would not be the case and we then suspended the IOA. So far as the gentleman is concerned (Lalit Bhanot) I cannot give you information because I don't know the file."
Rogge also made it absolutely clear that the IOC only had a problem with the government's interference and not any individual and if that is resolved, IOA would be reinstated.
NDTV also accessed the IOC spokesperson, Mark Adams.
When asked if the International Olympic Committee had given the IOA permission to go ahead with the elections, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said, "No, absolutely not. In fact, it's made clear with our ruling yesterday that they have no legitimacy to do that. We have withdrawn our recognition of the IOA at this point of time. Those elections may well be going ahead but have no validity."
NDTV also asked if the IOC had been in touch with the IOA and Adams replied, "We have been talking to them for a long time but it has been difficult to get a response from them (IOA). People within the IOC who are responsible for this dossier have been talking to people in India and we are willing to hear them."
The IOC spokesperson laid stress on one fact that they would need absolute clarity on whether the IOA is acting independently from government interference. He also said that the international body would welcome the Indian body anytime, if proved otherwise.
Adams ended saying, "It is certainly more in sadness than anger that these actions have been taken. We want the IOA to be back in the family. The last thing the IOC wants to do is affect the athletes. They can continue to compete and if this goes on then the athletes can compete under the Olympic flag. We want India to be a big Olympic nation."