A group of Olympians, headed by former hockey captain Pargat Singh, has written an open letter to the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, bringing to his notice the state of Indian sports administration.
“On the eve of International Olympic Day, we want to bring to your attention the current state of affairs of the Olympic Movement in India. We think there is a serious threat to the very foundation of the values of sport,” wrote the sportspersons who have come under the banner of an organisation named Clean Sports India (CSI).
The new organisation would be launched on Wednesday, but on Tuesday it released the letter to the IOC President to highlight serious irregularities in the set-up of the sports bodies.
Citing examples of sports administrators clinging on to power for decades, the letter notes that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, Suresh Kalmadi, had recently been quoted as having said that sports federations should only be headed by politicians, businessmen or bureaucrats.
Pointing out examples of politicians monopolising sports federations and preventing sportspersons from coming anywhere near decision-making areas of sports administrations, the Olympians have accused Kalmadi and others of misusing the principles of autonomy.
The letter points out the state of affairs in Indian hockey and Kalmadi's role in hoisting a new federation.
To fight doping
The letter also talks about doping in sports. “We are also keen to fight the drug menace in Indian sports, which is not properly controlled and to some extent encouraged by Sports Federation officials.
“At this moment, we are only requesting you to watch the Indian sports scenario carefully. And when you and the heads of international sports federations take stock of the situation in India in the coming months and years, please do not rely only on the information provide by the Indian Olympic Association and other NSFs,” states the letter.