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Defiant IOA goes ahead with elections

Lalit Bhanot, center, who was recently elected as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association gestures during the IOA AGM in New Delhi on Wednesday. Bhanot is facing graft charges relating to the Commonwealth Games.   | Photo Credit: Saurabh Das

: In what was seen as an open defiance of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) went through with its elections as scheduled on Wednesday.

Abhay Singh Chautala (president), Lalit K. Bhanot (secretary-general) and N. Ramachandran (treasurer) were declared elected unopposed, while Virendra Nanavati was also unopposed while taking the senior vice-president’s post.

The rest of the places in the Executive Council were filled through elections supervised by a three-member commission comprising retired High Court judges.

The IOC had stated on Tuesday that the IOA was not entitled to hold any elections without its prior approval, but the IOA stuck to its stand that it was going ahead with the process as per Delhi High Court orders.

It looked as though the IOA was prepared to face the music and possibly further sanctions from the IOC with this act of defiance. Quite significantly, the Randhir Singh faction did not attend the Annual General Meeting that preceded the elections.

Out of the 183 votes, 167 were cast for the posts that were contested. Eight ballots — three of Indian Hockey Federation, three of Gymnastics Federation of India and two of the Haryana Olympic Association — were kept sealed as per a court order.

Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who chaired the AGM as acting president, said that the IOA had gone ahead with the elections since it could not go against the court order.

The IOA officials discounted the possibility of approaching the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to fight the suspension imposed by the IOC. The general refrain was there was no question of having a confrontation with the IOC.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 3:29:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Defiant-IOA-goes-ahead-with-elections/article15618124.ece

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