Ministry mulls ad-hoc body

Sports Bill, need of the hour

In the wake of suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the sports ministry is mulling on forming a 10-member ad-hoc committee, comprising sportspersons, to run sports in the country and proposing the same to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"We are going to speak to various international bodies to work out an interim solution," sports minister Jitendra Singh told reporters after the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports de-recognsied the Archery Association of India (AAI) and suspended the recogntion of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF).

"We are passing through a very bad phase. 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.”

The IOC, however, is unlikely to favour an ad-hoc body, and is keen that the IOA sorts out the mess it find itself in before lifting the suspension imposed on it. IOC president Jacques Rogge himself had stated that he wasn’t in favour of an interim arrangement.
Singh said the Sports Bill was the "need of the hour".

“I am in consultation with my cabinet colleagues over it. There were some obstructions on the cabinet and we are trying to sort it out. We are going to bring it very soon.”

During their suspension both AAI and IABF would not get any financial assistance and grants from the government to conduct national or regional championships.

Singh, however, assured the athletes would not suffer. “We are looking for interim measures to ensure that athletes continue to get the finds and the training facilities.

The ministry said they were willing to hold dialogues with the international federations to ensure the participation of athletes was not hampered. “The International Boxing Federation has also suspended the IABF, pending enquiry. 

This means that boxers from India may find it difficult to participate in international events.

The government will open a dialogue with the IABF to set in place interim measures, in conformity with the international association, so that the athletes are not affected.

Singh said the AAI had been asked to hold fresh elections.

“The AAI has been advised to hold fresh elections for the post of president in conformity with the Sports Code.  They have also been requested to amend their constitution to bring it in conformity with the Sports Code and Olympic Charter. This would help avoid such conflicts in future.”

The suspended Indian Olympic Association members also met the Ministry officials in the afternoon. The ministry, though, took a cautious approach about recognition of the new body.

“We have not even received the election results from the IOA. We just exchanged views and no decision was taken. We will continue to talk to every stakeholder and we are already doing that,” said Sports Secretary P K Deb.

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