Under-pressure IOA seeks solution to end impasse with IOC
A letter circulated internally by senior Indian Olympic Association officials hint that India face expulsion from the Olympic family. IOA may even be dissolved and a new body called Olympic India may be formed under an adhoc committee, led by Randhir Singh.
Served with the ultimatum from International Olympic Committee (IOC) to either bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections or face de-recognition, senior Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials are seeking quick solutions to end the long-standing impasse with the apex body.
It is learnt that following the world body's ultimatum on November 15 to the suspended IOA, to either amend the constitution by December 10 or face de-recognition, a key Indian official has spoken to a senior IOC official who has made it clear that the country will have to face the inevitable if it does not bar charge-framed persons.
In a letter circulated internally to the top brass of the IOA, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra has suggested that the IOA will now have to fall in line with the IOC diktat or face expulsion from the Olympic family. De-recognition would mean that India would cease to be part of the Olympic Movement and the country's sportspersons will not be allowed to take part in any international event.
"In case the IOA does not meet by or before December 9 and amend its constitution to make charge-framed persons ineligible, then the IOC in its Executive Board meeting on December 10 and 11 will recommend to IOC Council meeting in February 2014 to withdraw recognition of the IOA," said the letter. A new body called Olympic India may even be formed.
The letter also said that an adhoc committee consisting of V K Malhotra, Randhir Singh, Anil Khanna, Abhinav Bindra, Manish Malhotra, Ashwini Nachappa and Rahul Mehra could be formed after the IOC Executive Board recommended de-recognition of India.
"The ad hoc committee will amend the IOA constitution and the state units and non Olympic sport national federations will be made associate members without voting rights. Only Olympic sport national federations will get voting right of one vote and all Executive Committee members will have to retire at the age of 70," Batra said in the letter, asking his colleagues to act fast to avert this development.
He said the IOA will have to call the General Body meeting on December 8 so that the minutes can be sent to the IOC next day before the start of the world body's Executive Board meeting.
"The notice of the GBM will have to be sent by November 23," the letter said.
Suspended on December 5 last year for government interference in its functioning and for allowing corruption-tainted persons to contest in elections, the IOA has remained adamant to IOC directive to amend its constitution to bar charge-framed individuals from fighting polls.
It has repeatedly sought to dilute the IOC diktat on some pretext or the other, the latest being on October 27 when its General Body Meeting proposed to refer the case of charge-framed persons to its internal Ethics Commission, before the world body served the ultimatum on November 15.