Randhir withdrawal clears path for Chautala and Co.

Decks have been cleared for Abhay Singh Chautala, the chairman of the Indian Boxing Federation, to take over as the new chief of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after Randhir Singh withdrew his candidacy.

Randhir, the secretary-general of the IOA, said that he was withdrawing because he was a member of the International Olympic Committee, which had objected to the elections being conducted according to the National Sports Code that put a cap on age and tenure of sports federation officials.

Randhir's decision not to stand for the elections means the other main contender Chautala stands a good chance of getting elected unopposed.

Randhir said that as he was associated with the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia he didn't want to be seen as going against the Olympic Charter.

"As I am a member of the IOC, I cannot go against the Olympic Charter and the IOC. I am also with Olympic Council of Asia and the letter was signed by both the IOC president and the OCA president and I cannot go against the institution to which I belong," Randhir told reporters, explaining his decision to withdraw.

He also rubbished suggestions that he was shying away from a contest. "I am not running away. I am sportsman and I am used to competition. I wanted to fight this election. But there is no point in me contesting when the Sports Code is set to be enforced," Randhir said.

Early pull out

Incidentally, the 66-year-old withdrew even before the scrutiny of the nomination papers could be completed. The returning officer, Justice VK Bali had asked Randhir and K Murugan, who was contesting for secretary-general post, to come in person after objections were raised against their candidacy.

Chautala, meanwhile, welcomed Randhir's decision to pull out.

... contd.

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