IOCís suspension threat has IOA at PMís door

The International Olympic Committee on Friday threatened to de-recognise the Indian Olympic Association if it followed the government guidelines/sports code which puts a cap on tenure and age of office bearers in the upcoming elections. The letter, of which both IOC President chief Jacques Rogge and OCA chief Al Sabah were signatories, stated that strong action would be taken unless the IOA made its stand clear on the issue.

"It is our understanding that IOA is unable to confirm that IOA's elections will be held strictly in accordance with rules of Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution currently in force. On the contrary, it is mentioned that the government regulations shall apply for IOA's elections, thus ignoring the Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution," said the joint letter.

"Unless you rectify the situation with immediate effect and give a clear and written guarantee to IOC to ensure that elections be held strictly on the basis of the Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution, we inform you that a proposal for suspension of your NOC will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4-5 December 2012, based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter," the letter stated.

Barely a few hours after the IOC letter was circulated to the media, IOA acting chief V K Malhotra wrote a letter to the prime minister asking him to withdraw the sports code urgently.

"I have just received a letter from the IOC in which it has threatened to disaffiliate IOA if its elections scheduled to be held here on 5th December are held as per Sports Code of Government of India," Malhotra said in the letter to the PM.

"Given the gravity of situation, as the fate of thousands of Indian sportspersons is linked with it, I sincerely appeal to you to immediately ask the sports ministry to withdraw this Sports Code.

... contd.

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