International Olympic Committee suspends India
India on Tuesday was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) failure to host its elections in an independent fashion.
The elections, however, will go ahead as scheduled on Wednesday. The decision to suspend the IOA was taken by the IOC in its executive board meeting at its headquarters in Switzerland.
IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the position is such that they will be not be able to go against the government, the court or the IOC.
"We can only now hope to create an atmosphere where all three come on the same page to find a solution," he said.
Abhay Chautala, who is the only candidate for the post of IOA president in Wednesday's election, said the election will take place. He said the decision was not only harsh but one-sided.
"The suspension is an ex-parte. Th two member committee wanted time to meet IOC. But they haven't given time till now. This decision has been thrusted on us. I am still wondering why IOC took the decision. The elections are taking place according to the IOC charter, IOA consitution and the court's order. We are still trying to meet the IOC and present our side," he said.
The Chautala camp laid the blame squarely on secretary-general Randhir Singh, who is the sole IOC member from India.
Narinder Batra, president of Hockey India (HI), said it was Randhir, who motivated the IOC to take a harsh step.
Batra was a part of the two-member committee along with R.K.Anand to apprise the IOC on IOA's stand. But the IOC refused to meet them.
"Vinod Tiwari, who is the international relations director of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) updated about India's position in today's executive committee meeting of IOC. He was appointed by Randhir in the OCA. Now it is clear why India got suspended," said Batra.
Randhir, however, said that he had earlier warned the IOA.
"I have been warning the IOA. I repeatedly told them that we should carry the discussion with the government and the IOC. But people were not interested since they had their own agenda. For years I have been warning them," said Randhir, who last week pulled out from the election from the post of president.
"High time that the IOA is cleaned of some jokers. Then we can carry on. We have already amended our constitution two or three times and that has got us into trouble. The IOC has been watching uis closely. We didn't adhere to their guidelines," he said.
"When the IOC was saying don't conduct the elections, we still didn't abide by them. What would you expect the IOC to do. The Indian government also wanted to sit down with IOA and the IOC to sort out the problems," he said.
Sports minister Jitendra Singh asked the IOA to stop the blame game.
"Lets stop the blame game and take the corrective steps. Not because of few people let us not have a situation like. The government of India and the sports ministry is ready to sit own with the two parties. It is very simple, the IOA has to change the constitution and make it in accordance with the IOC charter. The time is not to point fingers at each other," he said.