Sports Ministry suspends IOA – The Hindu

NEW DELHI: The Indian Olympic Association was on Friday suspended by the Sports Ministry after failing to respond to the showcase notice issued to it questioning the decision to confer life presidency on Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala.

While Kalmadi voluntarily refused the position till he is absolved of all corruption charges, Chautala has been defiant, claiming he would give up the post only if asked to do so by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“The government has suspended the deemed recognition, granted by it to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), until the IOA reverses its decision to appoint Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Chautala as Life Presidents.

“Following the suspension, IOA will cease to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the Government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC). All Government assistance, financial or otherwise, to IOA will also be stopped,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel said here at a hurriedly called press meet.

The government had issued the notice on Wednesday, a day after the IOA took the decision. The IOA, however, had sought more time claiming it would take any decision only after consulting the international parent body on the legality of the appointments.

It also claimed that IOA president N. Ramachandran was travelling abroad. Both Kalmadi and Chautala have corruption cases pending against them.

“The government considers the reply of IOA only as a ploy to buy time. This is a serious violation of the norms of good governance by IOA which is the mother sports body and corrective action needs to be taken immediately.

“Although the Government is committed to protecting the autonomy of sports, it cannot remain a mute spectator to blatant violation of principles of ethics and good governance… till necessary corrective measure is taken by IOA,” Goel added.

Former IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh called it the beginning of the end for the body.

“IOA heading for oblivion… Good bye autonomy, good governance and ethics,” he said.

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