IOA rejects Sports Bill

In its executive committee meeting here, the IOA unanimously decided to reject the sports bill and said they are awaiting a written response from the International Olympic Committee on the proposed bill, which they would forward to the government.

“All the members were present today and it was unanimously decided that we reject the proposed sports bill,” VK Malhotra, Officiating President of the IOA, said.

“This draconian bill is illegal, unconstitutional and against the IOC charter. Some state associations and federations have given its undertaking to accept the bill only under pressure. They are being bullied and arm-twisted by the government.

“Sport associations need government support for visa, to send teams outside, conduct camps, sponsorship and many other things, and it is only under this pressure that they have agreed to it,” he added.

IOA secretary general Randhir Singh said they are waiting for a written reply from the IOC. “We have send the proposed draft to the IOC and we are waiting for a written reply from them. Once we receive that, we will forward that to the government. Hopefully, we will also meet the Prime Minister and the Sport Minister regarding this soon,” he said.
Malhotra said the IOA welcomes good governance and transparency but rejects this bill as it will give 100 per cent control of the game at every level in the hands of the government.

“Sports is a state subject. It is in the state list of the constitution. The bill aims to take away the power of the state government and centralise it in the hands of Union Government. This attempt is not only dubious but bad in law and a harbinger of damaging the federal structure of our polity,” said Malhotra, who is also president of the Archery Association of India. “Though IOA is an autonomous body recognised by IOC, the provisions in the bill are all contrary to this spirit. Also some provisions have scope for misuse and mischief.”

Meanwhile, Sports Ministry sources said they remain unperturbed and would go ahead with the bill as per schedule. “The Ministry will go ahead with the bill. It is all about bringing transparancy in the system and making people accountable. For good governance in the sports bodies, this bill is important,” the source said.

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