Millennium Post

An insult to sports lovers in India

By slapping ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has exposed a very logical fact in a resounding manner. Any country which prides its self-respect will not want its apex sports body being governed by a politician who has a court case pending against his name and an official who spent nearly a year in jail on corruption charges. The primary reason for IOC’s extreme action may be violation of its charter. But taking into consideration the chain of events over the past two years which led to India getting suspended from being part of the biggest sports movement in the world, it is the debauchery of a few officials which invited the wrath of the international body.

There can’t be anything more embarrassing than being robbed of the right to carry the national flag at a sporting spectacle like Olympics. It’s the ultimate dream of every sportsperson across the planet no matter at what level they compete. The battle for power between Suresh Kalmadi and Randhir Singh, who have been at the helm of IOA for many years, exposes the deep-rooted problem plaguing Indian sports - politicians, with little understanding of sports, turning even the cream of Indian athletes into mere pawns.

Logically IOC shouldn’t doubt the basic aim of Sports Code, which is ensuring fair election of sports bodies and fixing an age and tenure of its administrators. IOC too didn’t ask for anything unjustified by urging India to remove the then IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, CWG secretary general Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma, the former Badminton Association of India (BAI) chief, from the national sports body. In fact, the Sports Code will also prevent dubious persons from getting elected in any games association. It’s indeed sad that Indian sports lovers are ignored just because of the tussle of power between Randhir Singh and the group led by Abhay Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, known for being close to Kalmadi.

After India returned with its richest-ever medal haul at London earlier this year, the hope of attaining greater Olympic glory was increased. Now we must take all steps necessary to not let this hope die an untimely death.
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