Suspension warning a ‘little out of the line’, will hold elections after court’s permission: IOA to International Olympic Committee

Written by Express News Service |

July 23, 2022 9:49:12 am

IOA's acting president told the IOC that the ‘premature warning’ is a ‘little out of the line’. (File)

Two days after the organisation was threatened with suspension for not holding elections, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Anil Khanna, told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the ‘premature warning’ is a ‘little out of the line’.

In his letter to Director of Olympic solidarity and National Olympic Committee Relations, James MacLeod, and Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Husain Al-Musallam, Khanna requested a meeting with the IOC and/or OCA and underlined that the national body will be able to conduct elections once they get permission from the Delhi High Court.

However, Khanna was not pleased with the threat of suspension, saying that the IOA has been requesting a meeting with the world body to ‘draw out the timelines’. “What I, however, find a little out of line, is a premature warning of suspension without having been given a reasonable opportunity by the IOC/OCA to the IOA,” he wrote.

READ |After football & hockey, International Olympic Committee warns India: ‘Hold elections or face suspension’

The IOC, in a letter to IOA’s executive council members on Wednesday, said it will be ‘forced’ to suspend the national body should it fail to organise its ‘quadrennial elections within the coming weeks’. The IOA’s elections were originally scheduled to be held in December last year. However, they have been kept in abeyance due to an ongoing court case, in which it is accused of violating provisions of the National Sports Code.

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In his three-page reply, Khanna highlighted the IOA’s efforts in organising the National Games, which will be held this October after a gap of seven years, and sending the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games. He also touched upon the ‘key missing factors’ in the organisation’s constitution, the resignation of Narinder Batra as the IOA president due to legal issues, and his consequent appointment as the interim head on the directions of the High Court.

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Khanna suggested a meeting with former IOA secretary general Randhir Singh, who is the acting president of the OCA. “A possibility could be that since the Acting President OCA Raja Randhir Singh is based in India itself, IOA could have a meeting with him here and await communication from your good selves for another meeting in Lausanne or elsewhere,” Khanna said. “I sincerely look forward to the guidance and support of the IOC/OCA in this challenging time.”

If IOC goes ahead and bans India, it will be the second time in a decade that such an action would have been taken against the country. In December 2012, the world body suspended the IOA for similar reasons – failure to comply with IOC rules in the election process. A suspension can impact the financial aid the federation and athletes receive from the IOC. Additionally, until the sanctions are lifted, India’s athletes will not be allowed to compete under tricolour in Olympic events.

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