Ministry writes to IOC accusing IOA for poll mess
The union sports ministry Wednesday shot off a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge pointing to the mismanagement within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and blaming it for the delay in its election. The government has offered a dialogue among the three parties to sort out the matter.
The IOA election, scheduled for Nov 25, will now take place Dec 5 in the wake of its election panel chief S.Y. Quraishi quitting and the faction of presidential candidate Abhay Singh Chautala accusing his challenger Randhir Singh of violating the Olympic Charter.
IOC had earlier written to the IOA asking for fair and transparent election under the Olympic Charter and not as per the ministry-endorsed Sports Code of India.
Sports secretary Pradeep K. Deb, in his letter to Rogge, said the Sports Code was based on the principles of the Olympic charter and the failure of good governance was responsible for the mess surrounding the election.
"The IOC letter to IOA seems to have been written on the basis of misinterpretation or the lack of information about the provisions of the Sports Code," wrote Deb.
"I would like to clarify that the Government of India has no intentions whatsoever to interfere in IOA's functioning. All that Sports Code seeks to achieve is to ensure that the elections of IOA and other sports bodies are fair, transparent and in consonance with the Olympic Charter. The Code in fact enshrines the principles of the Olympic Charter.
"The issue is less about the Code and more about the failure of IOA to amend its constitution to bring it in line with the Olympic charter."
Deb said the ministry would be happy to talk about the issue with the IOC and IOA.
"If you agree to such a meeting, we would request the IOA election be held only after an attempt is made to sort out the issues mutually."