R.K.Anand, one of the Indian officials to take part in the Lausanne meeting next week, on Friday slammed India Olympic Association acting chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra for boycotting the crucial conclave after he was named as one of the IOA delegates.
Mr. Anand said Mr. Malhotra’s letter to the International Olympic Committee informing his withdrawal from the May 15 meeting was “in bad taste” and asked the acting IOA chief to reconsider his decision
Mr. Malhotra’s decision to boycott the meeting came a day after the IOC agreed to include Mr. Anand and Hockey India General Secretary Narinder Batra in the IOA delegation in addition to the four-member list submitted earlier.
“I am deeply pained to read your letter sent yesterday in which you have levelled allegations against me. You are making it a ground to withdraw yourself for going to International Olympic Committee in the matter of suspension of Indian Olympic Association,” Mr. Anand said in a letter to Mr. Malhotra.
“I had always praised you and it had been my consistent stand that there is only one person who has taken a stand against the Government Guidelines and Sports Code being implemented by the Government of India. I have been telling everyone that the kind of efforts you have put in to stop Sports Legislation are immense”, said Mr. Anand, who is the president of the Jharkhand Olympic Association.
“But I still feel that the letter you have written is not in good taste. Instead of writing such a letter you should have called me,” said Mr. Anand, who was elected as one of the vice-presidents in the IOA elections on December 5 last though the polls were not recognised by the IOC.
Mr. Anand asked Mr. Malhotra to take back his decision to boycott the meeting.
“I would earnestly request you and it is my desire that you should take your decision back and in the interest of IOA you should join us in putting our case before the IOC instead of throwing spanner in resolving the ongoing dispute,” he said.
“I would like to reiterate that the delegation which is going to meet IOC had taken a consistent stand in consonance to the stand taken by you. lnstead of withdrawing yourself from the delegation of IOC, you should have joined and given your input so that we improve upon our stand, being taken before the IOC,” Mr. Anand said.
“The stand taken by you is against India’s interest in the matter of sports and sportspersons. It is not expected of you to take such a stand after spending more than 40 years in the field of sports administration,” said Mr. Anand, who is also Jharkhand Olympic Association chief.
Meanwhile, the crucial meeting between the Indian officials and the IOC to find a way for the country’s return to the Olympic fold will proceed as per schedule on May 15 despite the dramatic pull-out of Mr. Malhotra and IOC member Randhir Singh.
The IOC has sent a message to the Swiss Embassy here to expedite the visa formalities of all the visiting delegates, a clear indication that it is going ahead with the scheduled meeting.
The crucial meeting had come under a cloud of uncertainty after Mr. Malhotra and Mr. Randhir pulled out of it, apparently miffed with the world body’s changed stance.
The meeting will also be attended by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, Sports Secretary P.K.Deb, Beijing Olympics gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra and Olympian sailor Malav Shroff.