The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has warned of appropriate action against “a number of illegitimate individuals” who it said were claiming to represent the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA), despite the “so called elections” having been declared “null and void” and not recognised by it.

In a letter to the IOC member in India, Randhir Singh, IOC director-general Christophe de Kepper, stated that as secretary-general of the suspended IOA, he was being requested to “take all necessary measures and, if appropriate, any legal action at national level against these individuals in order to protect all assets and properties of the suspended IOA”.

The IOC clearly mentioned that these “illegal actions” that violated the IOC directives and decisions were aggravating the situation of the suspended IOA.

“All individuals involved (directly or by complicity) will be held responsible and the IOC will reserve the right to take any action against them,” warned the IOC letter dated December 19.

It has been reported by some of the national federations that Lalit Bhanot had been communicating with them as the ‘newly-elected’ secretary-general of the IOA, with regard to participation of Indian teams in international competitions.

“The IOC is extremely concerned by the ongoing situation of the suspended IOA and the misappropriation of responsibilities and properties by a number of illegitimate individuals,” wrote the IOC director-general.

The IOC had suspended the IOA on December 4, and stated that the IOA had to ‘guarantee its full autonomy’, ‘to ensure free and fair elections in conformity with its own statutes and the Olympic Charter’ and ‘to implement all basic principles of ethics and good governance in its daily management’, to get back into the Olympic family.

In another letter dated December 6, the IOC had stressed that “the so-called elected office-bearers have no legitimacy to claim to represent or act on behalf of the suspended IOA in any capacity whatsoever. In particular, they are not entitled to access the suspended IOA’s bank accounts and the funds of the Olympic Movement”.

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