Under pressure from IOC

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) met the deadline of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as it amended its Constitution to keep out the charge-framed officials, in a Special General Body meeting, expressly convened for the purpose, here on Sunday.

In a dramatic turn-around, two of the charge-framed officials, Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, who had been elected president and secretary general respectively last year in the election that was declared null and void by the IOC, made the move to pass the amendment demanded by the IOC.

In the meeting chaired by S. Reghunathan, Chautala proposed the amendment and Bhanot seconded it, while all the members accepted it unanimously.

It was also decided that the election for the IOA be held on February 9, subject to clearance from the IOC.

The IOC had categorically sought that the charge-framed officials be ineligible to run for the IOA elections and be provisionally suspended from the IOA till the final ruling was made.

The amendment had to be made in time so as to help the IOC take a decision on the subject in its Executive Board meeting scheduled for December 10.

The IOC had threatened in its last communication in November that it may be forced to withdraw its recognition of IOA in the IOC session, if the amendment to the Constitution was not made as desired.

The IOA, which had been suspended by the IOC for “government interference,’’ hoped to get a positive response from the IOC soon, having done everything demanded from it, towards returning back into the Olympic Movement.

Despite stating that the amendment was made in the larger interest of Indian sport, the IOA insisted that a delegation would visit the IOC headquarters in Lausanne — once the IOC accepted the revised Constitution and agreed for the election — to present the case of the aggrieved officials and explain the legal position on the subject.

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