Indian Olympic officials put off meeting

The Indian Olympic Association has postponed a crucial meeting with the nation’s sports minister which was expected to resolve issues which led to the country’s suspension by the IOC.

By (AP)

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Published: Thu 18 Apr 2013, 3:36 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:00 PM

IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra was scheduled to meet sports minister Jitender Singh on Thursday but that meeting has been delayed until next week.

The IOA is caught between complying with a government sports code which puts age and tenure restrictions on officials, and meeting International Olympic Committee demands for government to stay out of the election and appointment of Olympic officials.

“We have to sort out the issue of the implementation of the sports code and I plan to meet the sports minister in the coming days,” Malhotra said. “I’m against any infringement on the autonomy of the IOA and national sports federations from any outside body.”

The IOC suspended the IOA in December, and has invited IOA and sports ministry officials to a meeting in Lausanne in May.

The meeting at Lausanne has already been postponed three times since March as the IOA and sports ministry officials have failed to work out a compromise.

Jitender though was optimistic after meeting IOC member and IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh on Wednesday.

“Most of the matters concerning the sports code have been resolved with all the stakeholders and all the issues will be resolved soon,” Jitender said in a statement. “The sports code is the same as the Olympic charter and we do not intend to interfere with their functioning.”

India was suspended from the IOC after the IOA held its elections in accordance with the sports code, citing a court order even though the IOC had asked it to follow its own constitution. The IOC refused to recognize the new body and kept in touch with previous office-bearers.

The IOC’s ethics commission had also advised that tainted officials shouldn’t hold administrative posts, but Lalit Bhanot was declared elected unopposed as the new secretary-general despite spending 11 months in jail for corruption cases related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

An Olympic ban means a national federation is not eligible for funding from the IOC, officials from the suspended federation can’t attend meetings and athletes can compete only under the Olympic flag

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