Posted On Thursday, December 06, 2012 at 07:45:40 AM
|Tainted official Lalit Bhanot, who was recently elected as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), casts his vote during yesterday’s election in New Delhi
Defying the ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee, the IOA yesterdayday went ahead with its Annual General Meeting and elections, insisting that it had not done anything wrong.
“The house unanimously decided that we did not do anything wrong by going ahead with the election process. We had already communicated to the IOC that the IOA will have to go ahead with the elections under the sports code because of the Delhi High Court order,“ IOA acting President VK Malhotra told reporters on the sidelines of the AGM here.
“Inspite of this the IOC decided to suspend us, but we will try our level best to get the suspension revoked as soon as possible,“ he said after the meeting which lasted just over an hour.
“About 85 per cent of the sports federations and state Olympic committees were present in the AGM. And it was a unanimous decision,“ he said. Malhotra said the IOA has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in the matter.
“I had already written to the PM to intervene into the matter. We are hoping to sort the issue by sitting together with the representatives of IOC, IOA and the government.
We have to find a common ground between the Olympic charter, sports code and the Delhi HC order," he said. In a major embarrassment for India, the IOC yesterday suspended the IOA because of government interference in its election process.
The IOC said that it decided to ban India as the IOA had failed to comply with Olympic Charter and also allowed a tainted official to contest elections for a top post.
The decision was largely expected after the IOA decided to go ahead with the elections today under the government’s Sports Code, defying the IOC’s diktat to hold the polls under the Olympic Charter.
Ban to stay until requirments met
In its suspension letter to Indian Olympic Association, IOC has made it clear the national sports body would remain suspended until it was in a position to satisfy all the conditions set out in the Olympic Charter and IOC’s requirements.
In the letter to Malhotra, IOC President Jacques Rogge clearly stated the requirements of the Olympic Charter and the IOC. The requirements included “to guarantee its full autonomy; to ensure free and fair elections in conformity with its own statutes and the Olympic Charter; and to implement all basic principles of ethics and good governance in its daily management”.
Rogge also said that the IOC Executive Board has decided that the IOA was “no longer entitled to exercise any activity or right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC”.
“The IOC will withhold any financial assistance to the IOA. It will also not be entitled to hold any elections without express prior approval of the IOC,” Rogge said in his letter. The IOC Executive Board also reserved the right to take further measures and to take action with regard to the participation of Indian athletes in international Olympic related events.
Giving reasons for suspending IOA, the President explained: “The IOA is faced with outside interference in applying its election rules, which threatens the IOA's autonomy and the holding of free and fair elections in conformity with the IOA statutes and the Olympic Charter.
“And the IOA has been unable to observe its own statutes and the Olympic Charter and to enforce the basic principles of ethics and good governance. “The IOC Executive Board also noted that the IOC, in close coordination with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), has made every possible effort for more than two years to assist in the amicable resolution of these issues.
“However, the IOC's position has not been taken into consideration seriously and responsibly by the IOA and the relevant Government authorities in India,” the letter said.
► We are hoping to sort the issue by sitting together with the representatives of IOC, IOA and the government
- IOA acting President VK Malhotra on revoking IOC’S suspension