Archery body also de-recognised, this time by govt

Archery

THE Archery Association of India (AAI) on Friday became the third national body to be de-recognised in the space of a couple of days. However, unlike the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the AAI was de-affiliated by the Sports Ministry.

The AAI faced the action for violation of age and tenure guidelines of the government's sports code during last month's election. In November, 81-year-old BJP leader V K Malhotra won his 10th term to stay at the helm of archery affairs.

Interesting, while the IOA and IBF were punished by their international bodies for adhering to the same sports code, Sports Minister Jitendra Singh endorsed the action taken against them.

Replying to a question on the IOA at a news conference here, he said: "We are going to speak to various international bodies to work out an interim solution. We are going to suggest an ad-hoc committee comprising 10 eminent (Indian) sportspersons."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had pulled up the IOA for alleged political interference in its working. The IABF was provisionally suspended for irregularities in the conduct of its recent election, in which president Abhay Singh Chautala was retained as nominated chairman even as his brother-in-law and MLA Abhishek Matoria took his place.

Singh added that boxing and archery bodies will have to conduct fresh elections according to the sports code. "We have given the (IABF) 15 days to confirm that they would hold a re-election. The AAI too needs to follow the code."

AAI president Malhotra said the sports code had no legal sanctity. "It is not an Act, it is not a part of the Constitution and there has not even been a gazette notification."

Meanwhile, the IOC has hinted it won't sit across the table with Chautala & Co, though IOC member Randhir Singh and IOA's former acting president Malhotra may be acceptable.

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