Accept Sports Code, Ministry tells IOA

Chautala lashes out at Randhir for the current situation

A delegation of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) met Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday to resolve the impasse surrounding the National Sports Code but the ministry stuck to its stand, urging IOA to accept the Code ‘voluntarily.’

Abhay Singh Chautala, who is set to become IOA president, however, was hopeful of an early solution. “The IOA delegation met the sports minister today. We spoke about the recent developments that have put a question mark over the elections. The government said we want to do something good for sports and we are confident we will soon find a solution,” Chautala, who was among the nine members who met the minister, told a press conference.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its recent communications had made it clear that it would be proposing IOA’s disaffiliation in its executive committee meeting on December 4-5 unless the current situation is rectified with immediate effect.

But going by the government’s attitude this afternoon, it appears that IOA is not left with many options. A statement from the sports minister’s office had this to say: “The minister advised it would be best if the IOA were to voluntarily accept the Sports Code and amend their constitution accordingly, thus meeting the objections of the IOC as well as obeying the directions of the High Court of Delhi.

“The government reconfirmed that it was prepared to discuss the matter with (the) IOC & IOA to resolve all the issues.” Chautala blamed incumbent secretary-general Randhir Singh for landing IOA in the mess and also misleading the IOC.

“It was Randhir who was in a hurry to have the elections, saying that IOC will derecognise us if we do not hold the elections by October 10. Everyone else in the AGM wanted to wait till December.

Now he speaks of stalling the elections and clearing the matter. The election process was as per Randhir Singh’s notification. Was he not aware of these problems then?” Chautala questioned.

“Also, as an IOA secretary-general, if there were some problems it was his responsibility to solve them. He instead aggravated them.”

Chautala demanded Randhir’s resignation as the IOC member after he ceased to be the secretary-general of IOA and said he could not be continuing as an IOC member as per the Olympic Charter when he would no longer be holding any executive post within the National Olympic Committee.

 “His pull-out drama citing violation of IOC charter was an afterthought because he knew he was losing the elections. That is why he sought the help of IOC and forced them to write various letters, including the threat of derecognising/disaffiliating IOA,” said Chautala.

Chautala also defended Lalit Bhanot’s nomination for the post of secretary-general.
“There are a lot of cases pending against people in this country right from Mulayam Singh, Om Prakash Chautala, Lalu Prasad Yadav to Mayawati.. All of them are running the governments in their states.... Bhanot’s case is still pending in the court and he has not been proven guilty so far. The IOC’s recommendation (that he should stay out of the polls) was in reply to Jagdish Tytler’s letter. It was never addressed to him or the IOA,” he said.

Meanwhile, returning officer Justice (retd) V K Bali put out the list of final candidates for the elections. The list states that:  “There is not to be any election for the post of president, Sr vice president, secretary general, treasurer and IOC members.”

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