The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to state that no rule had been violated so far in the election process and it would preserve the Olympic Charter in going through with the elections being supervisedby three eminent jurists.
Faced with the threat of suspension by the IOC, over the charge of not adhering to the Charter in the conduct of its elections, scheduled for December 5, the IOA Acting President, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, wrote to the IOC President, Jacques Rogge on Thursday, providing a written commitment that everything was as per rules and the Chatter.
Whether the IOC would buy the arguments listed in the latest IOA letter, a reiteration of its known stand that it had always opposed government interference and it had gone to court against the NationalSports Code, is a matter of conjecture at this point.
The IOC had written on November 28 to state that it had decided to place the IOA’s suspension before its Executive Board meeting to be held in Lausanne on December 4 and 5. The IOA was given time till November 30 to file a reply.
Malhotra’s letter was in reply to a stern letter issued by the IOC on Nov. 23, that the IOA had failed to resolve the issue regarding the government’s Sports Code and proceeding further with the elections,under the government code, would be a violation of the Charter.
Malhotra’s reply was conciliatory in tone. During a chat with a group of reporters on Saturday, he suggested that the IOA Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, could still play a role in influencing the IOC decision without the suspension threat being pursued.
In identical letters to the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, and the President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahd Al Sabah, Malhotra stated that the government had put the proposed Sports Bill in “cold storage” because of the opposition mounted by the IOA.
Malhotra stated that the IOA wanted to join hands with the IOC to resolve the issue so that the “government withdraws the guidelines/Sports Code.”
However, only on Friday, the Sports Minister had told an IOA delegation that it would be better for the IOA to amend its constitution and incorporate the Sports Code so that it would be meeting the directives of the courts and also the requirements prescribed by the ministry. “Kindly be assured that the autonomy of the Indian Olympic Association shall be preserved and protected and no interference of any economic, political angle (sic) shall be permitted,” Malhotrawrote.
Malhotra told the media that since nothing was violated while completing the election process so far, the IOC should not find anything objectionable.
The IOC was informed that a two-member delegation (Narinder Batra of Hockey India and lawyer R. K. Anand) was being sent to Lausanne to clarify the IOA stand.
Malhotra wrote to the IOC Director-General, suggesting that the IOA delegation could meet the IOC representatives on December 4.