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IOA bows under pressure after an eventful year

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The decision to amend the IOA constitution in line with Olympic Charter was taken at its Special General Body Meeting on December 8, 2013, after the IOC served the ultimatum last month

ioalogo copyNew Delhi: A usually reticent Sports Ministry was at its persuasive best as it fought for India’s reinclusion in the Olympic fold even as the corruption-tainted IOA embarrassed itself by trying hard to defy the IOC for most part of the year before being forced to bow under pressure in an eventful 2013.

Having blatantly violated the International Olympic Committee’s diktats on more than one occasion throughout the year, the Indian Olympic Association was finally left with no option but to amend its constitution as per the world body’s directives following an ultimatum by it.

The decision to amend the IOA constitution in line with Olympic Charter was taken at its Special General Body Meeting on December 8, 2013, after the IOC served the ultimatum last month that it would de-recognize India if the “charge-framed” persons are not barred from contesting polls, among other directives.

De-recognition means that a country cannot be a part of the Olympic Movement, and the country’s sportspersons are not be allowed to take part in any international event.

It all started more than a year ago when just a day before the controversy-marred elections of the IOA on December 5, 2012, IOC had suspended the national body for adhering to the government’s Sports Code and declared the polls “null and void”.

In an act of defiance, IOA went ahead with the polls, though the parent body had refused to recognize Abhay Singh Chautala, who was elected unopposed as president, and his team as office bearers.

Subsequently, IOC said it would continue to treat VK Malhotra as IOA acting president and Randhir Singh as secretary general.

The IOC asked its Indian member Randhir to take all measures, including legal action, against “illegitimate individuals” claiming to represent the suspended IOA.

But turning a blind eye to IOC’s directives, IOA called a meeting of its Executive Council on January 19, 2013, despite being barred from the Olympic family. The Sports Ministry, meanwhile, issued a letter to all the National Sports Federations, asking them to amend their constitution in accordance with the Sports Code by January 31, failing which it said their recognition by the Government could be impacted.

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