The sports ministry has suspended the deemed recognition granted by it to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), until the body reverses its decision to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents, it said in a statement.
"Following the suspension, IOA will cease to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the Government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC). All Government assistance, financial or otherwise, to IOA will also be stopped," the statement said.
The Vijay Goel-headed sports ministry had issued a show-cause notice to the IOA on Wednesday after the General Body meeting of the body passed a resolution to appoint Kalmadi and Chautala, both of whom have been charge-sheeted, as its life presidents.
'No financial assistance'
The IOA was required to reply to the show cause notice by 5 p.m. on Friday. In their response, the IOA on Friday sought extension of time up to January 15, 2017 for replying to the show cause notice, stating that its president was out of the country and they needed to consult him.
"The government can't approve of wrong things. The showcause notice issued to the IOA was a serious one but they didn't respond and instead sought 15 days time. So, the government has decided to suspend IOA till the time they withdraw the appointments," Sports Minister Vijay Goel said.
"The IOA now can't take any financial assistance, facilities and privileges from the government till the time they are suspended."
'Ploy to buy time'
The ministry said it was not happy with the reply of the IOA.
"Government is not satisfied with the response of IOA since they have not given any substantive reply especially with regard to the non-eligibility of Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Chautala," it said in its statement.
"Government considers the reply of IOA only as a ploy to buy time. This is a serious violation of the norms of good governance by IOA which is the mother sports body and corrective action needs to be taken immediately as it is a matter of national prestige and public sentiments."
The statement added that the IOA committed violations of ethics in appointing Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents.
"Although the Government has utmost respect for the Olympic Charter and is committed to protecting the autonomy of sports, it cannot remain a mute spectator to blatant violation of principles of ethic and good governance by IOA, thereby putting the image and prestige of the country at stake," the statement read.
"Hence, it has been decided to suspend deemed recognition granted by the Government to IOA till necessary corrective measure is taken by IOA."
Meanwhile, the IOA did not immediately respond to the news of the suspension. "I have come only come to know about the suspension through media. The IOA will respond to Ministry only after discussing the issue among its office-bearers," IOA vice president Tarlochan Singh was quoted as saying by PTI following the Sports Ministry's move.
(With inputs from PTI)