Gill to raise issue with IOC

Ministry ready to send official to discuss rule limiting tenure

Gill to raise issue with IOC

IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi and his senior colleagues met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain their stand while the ministry said it was ready to depute an official to discus the matter with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The ministry shot off a strongly-worded statement attacking the (IOC) for objecting to the Indian government fixing tenure of office-bearers of the sports federattions. It also lashed out at IOA secretary general Randhir Singh for approaching the IOC.

Kalmadi along with presidents of various sports federations met the prime minister in the morning.“We briefed the PM about the issues that threaten the autonomy of the IOA and sports federations,” Kalmadi told reporters in the Parliament House complex.
“We told him we did not like the timing of this order, that too when the Commonwealth Games are near and when the Coordination Commission is in the city to monitor the progress of the Games. This controversy could have been easily avoided,” Kalmadi said.
Kalmadi was accompanied by other senior sports bosses like Praful Patel (football), V.K. Malhotra (archery), Digvijay Singh (shooting), Randhir Singh (IOA secretary-general) and Lalit Bhanot (athletics).

“We don’t want to go on the offensive. Gill could have waited for the Games to get over. We have also told the PM that all sports federations will work hard to make the Commonwealth Games a huge success,” Kalmadi said.
“Randhir (Singh) has given the IOC letter to the PM and he assured us he will look into the matter and will get back to us,” Kalmadi added.

In the letter, IOC’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) relations director Pere Miro hinted that the world body will not hesitate to impose sanctions on its Indian affiliate if there is too much government interference in the functioning of the federations which, under the Olympic Charter, need to be autonomous.
Later, the ministry accused Randhir of having a “conflict of interest on the issue in view of his 23-year-long continuous tenure as IOA secretary-general and also as an independent member from India on the IOC.”

The sports ministry noted with regret that they were not consulted before the IOC was approached.  “The IOC, too, did not seek any inputs from the government before its NOC Relations director sent the letter to Randhir Singh, who in turn has sent it to the government in his dual capacity,” the ministry said.
“The government has noted the contents of the letter from the IOC’s NOC Relations director. The government is immediately sending to the highest authorities in the IOC a detailed response on the matter.”

“The government is also proposing to the IOC that in order to have a thorough and conclusive discussion on the subject, the government would be deputing a senior official to the IOC headquarters at a mutually convenient date to sort out the matter across the table.”

The ministry also said it had taken careful note of various views expressed in media, on the order passed by it restoring the tenure regulation of 1975 which had been blocked by an internal order of 2001.
IANS

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