Olympians launch non-cooperation movement against IOA

Twenty one sportspersons, including Olympians and Arjuna Awardees, launched a non-cooperation movement against the "illegitimate" Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday. The athletes said a letter from controversially-elected IOA secretary general Lalit Bhanot, asking for their photographs and bio-data, prompted them to launch the agitation.

"I was shocked ten days ago when we got a letter from Lalit Bhanot asking us to send our bio-data and photographs to adorn the IOA office in Delhi. This is an illegal body as stated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We don't want to comply with the request and want all other awardees also to do so," said former athlete and Clean Sports India (CSI) joint convener, Reeth Abraham. The campaign has the backing of several former sportspersons, including Vandana Rao, Joaquim Carvalho, MM Somaiya, Mervyn Fernandis, Jude Felix, Ashwini, MP Ganesh, Devesh Chauhan, Vandana Shanbaug and MP Singh. They have signed the letter expressing their opposition to the "illegitate" body and will send it to Bhanot.

CSI convener BVP Rao, who stood against VK Malhotra during the Archery Association of India elections last year, said his two-year-old organisation would be asking IOC to take action on these guys individually. "These four to five people - Bhanot, Chautala, Suresh Kalmadi, Narinder Batra (Hockey India secretary general) and N Ramachandran (World Squash Federation head) -- want to somehow gain legitimacy for this illegitimate body. The IOC has strongly opposed this. This movement is against these illegitimate IOA officials," he said. "We are targeting former sportspersons and appealing to them not to co-operate to this letter (by sending their photographs and bio-data). That would be enough. But we don't want the current lot to join the protest as the federations would hamper their career," said Rao.

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