Positive development, says Clean Sports India

General IOA suspension: Hope better sense prevails before Asian Games, remarks Ashwini

Former international athlete Ashwini Nachappa on Tuesday welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to suspend the Indian Olympic Association, terming it as a ‘positive development.’

“It is a positive development. These people will never learn unless some serious action is taken,” said Ashwini, who is also the acting president of the Clean Sports India movement that has been fighting against the corrupt officialdom in Indian sport. “These officials have been taking everybody for granted and have refused to learn their lessons. They could have mended their ways two years back itself (when the Sports bill was brought into the picture). They did not do that.

“Hopefully, the present IOA leadership will take some action to correct their ways. But I hope it doesn’t degenerate into an ego battle between Chautala (who is set to be elected as the IOA chief) and Randhir Singh.

“As a sportsperson, I feel there is a need for change in the system. Most of our sports activities are funded by the government. There is massive support from the government, be it conduct of events or camps or participation in international events.

So we cannot ignore it. I hope better sense prevails and the issue is resolved before the next Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games (both in 2014) so that the athletes can compete under Tri-colour again.”

Ashwini lashed out at IOA for ignoring the IOC warnings. “If they had played their cards right, they could have avoided this situation. They have not been serious, they have been defiant and arrogant. Instead of playing blame games, we need to correct ourselves,” said Ashwini and said IOA had ignored protocalls in sending two officials to Lausanne to meet with IOC officials. “Did they think that IOC will meet our officials at their convenience?” she asked.

Meanwhile, CSI Convener B V P Rao said that the IOA was to be blamed for its suspension as it had not acted for long against people who were allegedly involved in corruption.

“It is a historic opportunity for the country to discuss, debate and reform the sporting structures of India. It’s time for sportsperson to come and set the house in order,” he said.

“CSI is the of the view that IOC essentially made the decision on IOA attitude to encourage known corrupt people to lead Olympic Movement in India. IOC sincerely thought IOA will take some action on Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot.

“But instead of taking action, acting president Malhotra led the IOA for last two years to encourage people like Bhanot to contest and get elected as Secretary General. All other reasons for suspension are mere technical,” Rao said.

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