IOC's ban 'darkest day' in India's Olympic history: Tytler
The former Indian Olympic Association vice-president Jagdish Tytler has said the adamant attitude of the IOA administrators to go ahead with its elections despite IOC's warning, was "shocking".
"On the darkest day of Olympic history of India, I want to convey my message to all able sports administrators of India being part of IOA for such a long time. The same people, whom I have witnessed, giving their heart out for sports and sportspersons, suddenly changed their attitude," Tytler said in a letter.
"Despite repeated warnings from the IOC not to hold the elections without being in conformity with IOA constitution and Olympic Charter, we challenged the IOC's authority without even thinking about the repercussions and the future of our very own sportspersons.
"When a few people including me had withdrawn from the elections and clarified our stand that we don't want to be part of the most shameful chapter of Olympic history, it should have been taken as an eye opener but still nobody even cared. You had your elections by defying the IOC's suggestions and warnings, compelled them to go against us. The adamancy shown is shocking which cannot be explained," he added.
Disregarding the ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee, a defiant IOA yesterday went ahead with its AGM and elections, insisting that it has not violated any guidelines. The IOA, showing utter disregard to the IOC's stand that the election would be treated "null and void", announced its elected members after having declared last week that Abhay Singh Chautala had been elected unopposed as president and Lalit Bhanot as secretary general.
Tytler, who was a part of the rival Randhir Singh's camp and had decided against competing in the elections, said the whole controversy has projected the country's sports officials as "anti-sports administrators" in the eyes of athletes.
"For me, it's very difficult to comprehend that the very people including me who has given their lives for Indian sports are under scanner of sportspersons. Leave aside my opinion, can anyone in India and especially sportsperson of your own discipline whom you have always nurtured like your own children could ever imagine that you could one day go against the IOA Constitution and IOC's authority?
"Did any of us ever dreamed that one day, we will become the cause of India's suspension from Olympic movement. Doesn't this mean that we have left the fate of our sportspersons in their (IOC) hands? Have we not put ourselves in a position where every sports lover and sportsperson of the nation may easily term us as anti-sports administrators? Will they buy any of our logics for the stand we took?
"Never in the history of Olympic movement that a NOC has ever defied the IOC out-rightly, the way we did," Tytler further wrote. The 68-year-old veteran politician also targeted the IOA for allowing Lalit Bhanot contest the election for the post of secretary general despite IOC's ethics commission advising that tainted officials shouldn't hold administrative posts.
Bhanot was declared elected unopposed despite spending 11 months in jail for corruption cases related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games. "The Olympics ethics commission had very clearly named a few persons who cannot fight in the elections but we defied that direction too and accepted their nomination. Have anyone thought for a minute by doing so what example are we setting? I had repeatedly said to keep the IOA body clean, but nobody cared for," he said.
Tytler exuded confidence that despite the fiasco, the country's sports loving administrators will put aside their vested interests and come forward to bring out the nation and the IOA from this embarrassing situation.
"I believe many will take this as an initiative to get united in the name of the nation, IOA and its sportspersons, keep aside all disputes, egos and agonies, and work together with full enthusiasm and optimism to bring out the nation & IOA from this embarrassing situation."