The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has constituted a five-member panel to be headed by Vijay Kumar Malhotra to take important decisions in its day-to-day functioning.

The panel will have the newly-elected principal office-bearers, Abhay Singh Cahutala, Lalit Bhanot, Virendra Nanavati, and N. Ramachandran, as its members.

Malhotra was made life president of the IOA at the annual general meeting after the elections on Wednesday. The elections were held despite a directive from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that they would not be recognised by it.

The IOC suspended the IOA on Tuesday for flouting its regulations.

The IOA also constituted an Athletes Commission at its Executive Council meeting on Thursday. It will be headed by Olympian hurdler Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, who finished fifth in the Tokyo Games in 1964.

The other members of the commission, being formed for the first time, are: Wilson Cherian (swimming), Karnam Malleswari (weightlifting), Manjeet Dua (table tennis), Jatinder Singh (boxing), Aparna Popat (badminton) and Anuj Kumar (wrestling). A representative each from tennis and archery will be nominated shortly.

The Athletes Commission will have one representative in the Executive Council as per the IOA constitution.

The Executive Council also constituted a three-member advisory panel of P.T. Usha, P. Gopi Chand and Dilip Tirkey to “guide the office-bearers on the problems faced by the athletes.”

An IOA delegation, headed by Chautala will meet the Secretary, Union Sports Ministry, P. K. Deb, on Friday to hold discussions in the wake of the suspension by the IOC.

The IOA, a release stated, was committed to the welfare and development of the sportspersons and assured that whatever possible would be done to resolve the issue “created by the IOC.”

 The interests of the athletes would also be protected, the IOA assured and said that they would be able to compete with the national flag.

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