Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh has said that he is upset with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)’s attitude towards the draft Sports Bill.

Reacting to a recent letter written to him by IOA acting president V.K. Malhotra, the Minister said, “I am deeply shocked and upset with the content of the letter. These are delaying tactics as far as (implementation of) Sports Bill is concerned. It is very unfortunate,” Jitendra Singh told reporters here on Wednesday.

Representatives of the IOA and the Ministry were scheduled to meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Laussane this month in order to thrash out issues related to the IOA’s suspension.

Jitendra Singh said his Ministry would speak to the IOC on its own and try to resolve issues related to Indian sports.

In a letter to the Sports Minister on April 3, Malhotra had said that the Government Sports Code was not acceptable to the IOA as it was in violation of the IOC Charter and the IOC had suspended the Indian body after the code was followed (on the directives of the High Court) in IOA elections.

Malhotra also opposed the Ministry’s move to set up a committee to re-draft the Sports Bill, saying it consisted of ‘IOA baiters’ and would act in a prejudicial manner.

Malhotra said the Government should clear its stand before they jointly approach the IOC.

A day later, Malhotra wrote to the IOC president, Jaques Rogge, alleging that the Government was trying to ‘destroy’ the autonomy of the IOA and National Sports Federations (NSFs). “In these circumstances, we would like the IOC to guide us as to what action we should take before meeting you,” said Malhotra.

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