The International Olympic Committee says it will consider the views of India’s national sports bodies at a meeting in Lausanne on May 15 to discuss the country’s return to the Olympic fold.
R.K. Anand and Narinder Batra, who belong to the Abhey Singh Chautala-led faction that was elected in elections declared illegal by the IOC, will now attend the meeting along with other officials of the suspended IOA and government officials.
“In order to give a reasonable opportunity for the different views of the national federations, members of the suspended IOA (Indian Olympic Association) to be expressed and heard, we wish to inform you that the IOC decided to accept these two additional persons and welcome them to join our meeting on 15 May,” the IOC wrote in a letter to the IOA that was shared with media on Thursday.
India was suspended in December after the IOA held its elections in accordance with a government sports code even though the IOC had asked it to follow its own constitution. Those elections also made tainted official Lalit Bhanot the new IOA secretary-general.
The IOC declared the new body illegal and only kept in touch with IOA officials who held posts before the polls, mainly acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra.
Malhotra is scheduled to represent the IOA at Lausanne along with three other colleagues while the government roped in Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra to accompany sports minister Jitender Singh and sports secretary P.K. Deb to end the deadlock.
The Chautala-led faction is reportedly backed by former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, who along with Bhanot, spent close to a year in jail over corruption cases related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
An Olympic ban means a national federation is not eligible for funding from the IOC, officials from the suspended federation can’t attend meetings and athletes can compete only under the Olympic flag