IOC suspends Indian Olympic Association, flays govt role

Abhay chautala

Malhotra has responded to the IOC's letter in which he has explained the IOA's stand and why it was compelled to follow the High Court's order in relation to the polls.

The elections to the IOA have been marred by controversy over the issue of under which framework they would be held and this had led to the resignation of IOA-appointed Election Commission Chairman S Y Quraishi and later presidential candidate Randhir Singh withdrawing from the race.

Taking into account Delhi High Court's order, the Quraishi-led Commission had ruled that the IOA polls would be held under the government's Sports Code, which in turn, invited IOC's directive to the IOA to "exclusively" apply the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution.

Quraishi, a former Chief Election Commissioner of India, then stepped down, citing the backtracking by the IOA to apply the Sports Code. Justice (retd) Anil Dev Singh was appointed by the IOA in his place.

Quraishi's resignation led to the postponement of the elections from November 25 to December 5, but a relentless IOC was not happy with the confusion surrounding the code under which the polls would be held.

Randhir Singh, who is an IOC member and Secretary General of both the OCA and the IOA, withdrew his nomination for the post of president, saying that since the world body had said the polls would not be recognised if they are held under the Sports Code, he cannot go against the institution he belongs to.

IOA's position has been that it has been opposing the Sports Code from the beginning but will have to abide by the Delhi High Court order to hold the elections under the Sports Code.

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