Government suggests forming of ad-hoc committee to IOC

Amid the controversy over IOA's suspension, government today suggested to the International Olympic Committee that an "ad-hoc" committee -- comprising only eminent sports persons -- be formed to look after the affairs of the national sports body.

"We are going to speak to various international bodies to work out an interim solution. We are going to suggest an ad-hoc committee comprising 10 eminent (Indian) sportspersons to be formed. What we are saying is that please put in place an interim measure," Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said at a press conference here today.

Three days after the banning of IOA by the International Olympic Committee for not adhering to its Charter while conducting its election, the Amateur International Boxing Association was provisionally suspended the IABF alleging "possible manipulation" in its recent elections.

Soon came the announcement that the government too, has suspended the boxing body, besides de-recognising the Archery Association of India with immediate effect for "violating the age and tenure guidelines" of the government's Sports Code during its elections last month.

"We are passing through a very bad phase. The government is trying to resolve. The government does not have direct jurisdiction over any sports body. We want to reach out to them, want to resolve it as soon as possible.

"I am primarily concerned about sportspersons, that is our priority. The facilities will remain available for athletes," the sports minister said.

"We are saying please adopt the Sports Code which is same as the IOC Charter," he further said.

Sports Secretary, P K Deb, said monetary aid for the two associations have been put on hold.

"For those associations the financial assistance has been put under immediate hold. Special funds for athletes will no longer be routed through these associations. That will have to have done by SAI," Deb said.

Deb made it clear that the Abhay Singh Chautala-led IOA stands de-recognised.

"The results of elections have not been communicated to us, so the question of recognition does not arise. No recognition has been granted to the newly-elected body.

Asked what was discussed in today's meeting between him and the IOA-delegation led by Chautala, Deb said, "The meeting was just exploratory. No decision was taken.
They have asked us and we told them that we would go to IOC at any point of time. We would talk to every stakeholder."

He also clarified that the government had never tried to interfere in the IOA election process.

"The directive to hold the election came from the Delhi High Court. To presume that the government was interfering in the election is totally incorrect. The government did not want to be in contempt with the court. Our observer was just present there."

"The IOC has to deal with any matter which is against the Charter. The IOA has to sort out with IOC," he said.

Singh said the Sports Bill was the "need of the hour".

"Sports bill is the need of the hour. I am trying to convince the Cabinet colleagues. There were a few observations regarding the bill and consultations are on. I cannot give you an exact time frame but we will be able to bring it very soon," Singh said.

Asked about the delay in taking action against AAI and IABF, Deb said, "We did not want to be seen as supporter of A or B. The decision to derecognise and suspend was scheduled today."

The decision to disaffiliate India was taken on the first day of the IOC's two-day Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.

The IOC said that it decided to ban India as the IOA had failed to comply with Olympic Charter and also allowed a tainted official to contest the elections for a top post.

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