Breaking his silence, embattled Indian Olympic Association President N Ramachandran, on Saturday, said he will take up the issue of IOA’s suspension with the government after consulting the IOC and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
Cracking the whip on IOA, the Sports Ministry, on Friday, suspended the Olympic body till the time it reverses the decision to make the scam-tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala its life presidents.
“I am away in New Zealand, on a personal issue relating to my family. I understand that the government has suspended the Indian Olympic Association due to the conferment of the lifetime presidency to Mr. Suresh Kalmadi and to Mr. Abhay Singh Chautala,” Ramachandran said in a statement.
The veteran administrator, who was heading World Squash Federation before taking over as IOA chief in 2014, added, “IOA is a body that has to function under the guidance and supervision of OCA and IOC. On my return in the New Year, I shall discuss this issue with the OCA/IOC after their offices open in the New Year for their guidance and advice, and thereafter, take this up with the government to see how this issue can be resolved.”
The government took the firm decision to suspend IOA after it failed to reply to its show-cause notice within the stipulated December 30 deadline.
Following the suspension, the IOA will cease to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee, on Saturday, said it will assess the IOA’s controversial move to make corruption-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala life presidents even as the Indian body decided to approach it on the issue of suspension by the government.
Asked if the IOC plans to take action on IOA for elevating Kalmadi and Chautala as life presidents, IOC Media Relations Manager Michael Noyelle said in a written reply that it will first get in touch with the NOC of India.
“The IOC will be in touch with the NOC of India in due course to assess the situation,” the IOC official said.
The IOC headquarters are currently closed for their annual break.
Bindra backs IOA suspension
Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, on Saturday, backed the Sports Ministry’s decision to suspend the Indian Olympic Association and called it a “good step” following the sports body’s move to honour two scam-tainted administrators. “The Olympics movement and specially the movement in India can no longer hide behind autonomy. It’s the age of good governance and ethics,” Bindra wrote on his twitter handle. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist — India’s lone gold medal winner in individual sport at the Games — added, “Change in Indian sport will only happen if mandated. A law is necessary in India. A good step by @IndiaSports & @vijaygoelbjp to suspend IOA.”