New Delhi: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh has said that the current crisis in Indian sports is the fault of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and that it had been repeatedly warned by the government to amend its charter.
Speaking to NDTV on Tuesday - the day International Olympic Committee suspended India - Mr Singh said that he was disappointed with the way the entire matter had been handled by IOA. "The Indian Olympic Association is to blame for the current crisis. Government told the IOA many times to amend its charter and be compliant with the international rules," he said. "(It is) Unfortunate how politicians at the helm of the IOA have handled the body."
After months of warnings, the IOC executive board imposed the sanction when the Indian Olympic Association failed to comply with the world body's demands for holding independent elections.
Mr Singh, however, said that there is no conflict between following the Indian sports code and being internationally compliant.
"The decision to suspend India was an unfortunate one. But it could have been avoided had the IOA amended its constitution. It is absolutely false to say that Sports Code was the reason behind India's suspension. There is no conflict between the Sports Code and Olympic Charter," he said.
"If the IOA had amended its constitution, this situation would not have arisen," he added.
He however was optimistic that a solution can be corrected. "Government has very little to do with either the IOA or the IOC. But we will write to the International Olympic Committee and try and get the order reversed," he said but also chose to mention that a blanket ban on politicians in administrative roles is not right. "Politicians are also human beings."