Randhir, Jitendra discuss IOA ban

 Sports Minister Jitendra Singh met with International Olympic Committee member Randhir Singh on Wednesday to discuss the matter of India’s suspension by the world body.

The IOC had suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on December 5 over ‘government interference and violation of Olympic charter.’ The world body, thereafter, opened its channels of communication only to Randhir, who was the secretary general of the IOA, and Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who was the acting president of the body.

However, after the suspended IOA went ahead with its elections and activities against the IOC directives, a peeved world body recognised only Randhir. Left with no choice, the sports ministry officials met with Randhir to discuss a solution to the deadlock.

“It was a positive discussion. Since the IOC had refused to talk to any other official, we had to speak to Randhir. We are concerned about our athletes and want to resolve the issue at the earliest,”  a sports ministry official said.

Randhir, who too had filed his candidature for the election, pulled out after IOC issued a threat of suspension over the breach of its guidelines. The IOC in its latest communication had expressed its concerns and anger over the activities of the members of the suspended IOA, despite it declaring the elections “null and void.” 
 
The IOC had also made it clear that by the consistent breach of its directives, the IOA had aggravated the situation and even gave Randhir a go ahead to take a legal recourse if necessary.

Randhir said the discussion with the ministry officials was a step towards making amends. He said he will try to arrange a meeting with the IOC officials and the sports ministry to find an amicable solution.
“The IOC office opened only on January 7. I will be briefing them about the meetings. We have to find a way ahead,” he said.

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