With time running out and the threat of India’s ouster from the Olympic family looming large, the Sports Ministry today sought an early meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge to solve what it described as a “false situation of crisis” created by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officials.
In his letter to Rogge, Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas sought an immediate meeting to clear the air, adding that the Sports Ministry has not received copy of the International Olympic Committee letter in which IOC threatened to take up the issue in its Executive Board meeting next month, which may lead to India’s ouster from the Olympic family.
“We are confident that IOC will acquaint itself with the full facts before forming any view in the present case. We expect that our meeting with you can be scheduled early to enable a comprehensive appreciation of the entire matter,” Srinivas said.
Without naming IOA General Secretary Randhir Singh, who is also an IOC member, the Ministry accused him of trying to mislead the IOC and complicating the issue.
“It is unfortunate that the IOC member from India has not even cared to consult us before taking up this matter with you,” Srinivas said.
The Ministry also accused the IOA officials of creating this crisis only to protect their interests.
“This is an attempt to create a false situation of crisis, by a few interested persons, whose only aim is to protect their unduly long tenures in the IOA and the NSFs (National Sports Federations),” Srinivas said.
At the centre of this ongoing row is the recent Sports Ministry guidelines which states NSF Presidents cannot rule for more than 12 years, secretaries and treasurers cannot function more than eight years at a stretch and all exectuives have to retire at 70.
The guidelines, if implemented, would end the tenure of Kalmadi and NSF chiefs including VK Malhotra (archery), Jagdish Tytler (judo) and SS Dhindsa (cycling).
In the letter today, the Ministry cited government sports regulations in countries like USA and Malaysia to assert that ensuring accountability of NSFs was not in violation of the Olympic charter.
The Ministry said being an IOC member and an Olympic Council of Asia General Secretary, Randhir is well aware of the regulations internationally but has kept the IOC in dark about the scenario in India.
“He is fully aware of the proceedings before the Delhi High Court, as IOA is a respondent, in the ongoing Public Interest Litigation. Further, as the Secretary General of OCA, he is conversant with the sports legislations of Malaysia and Sri Lanka,” the letter said.