IOA defies IOC, goes ahead with election

Disregarding the ban imposed by the International Olympic Committee, a defiant IOA today went ahead with its AGM and elections claiming that it has not violated any guidelines even as the government and the national sports body blamed each other for the fiasco.

A day after the IOC cracked the whip by suspending the IOA for failing to comply with the Olympic Charter in its election process, the government and IOA were engaged in a blame game though both spoke of the need to find a solution to the vexed issue quickly.

The IOA, showing utter disregard to the IOC's stand that the election would be treated "null and void" went ahead with the poll in which the members of the Randhir Singh faction stayed away.

The elections were only for relatively minor positins as politican Abhay Singh Chautala, contesting for the president's post, had already been elected unopposed while scam-tainted Lalit Bhanot had become the new secretary general.

"The house unanimously decided that we did not do anything wrong by going ahead with the election process. We had already communicated to the IOC that the IOA will have to go ahead with the elections under the sports code because of the Delhi High Court order," IOA acting President V K Malhotra told reporters on the sidelines of the AGM here.

"Inspite of this the IOC decided to suspend us, but we will try our level best to get the suspension revoked as soon as possible," he said.

"About 85 per cent of the sports federations and state Olympic committees were present in the AGM. And it was a unanimous decision," he said.

The Sports Ministry said the IOC's decision to attribute suspension to Government interference in the IOA's election process was "entirely misplaced".

The Ministry insisted that it was not the Sports Code, but IOA's constitution, which was not aligned with the Olympic Charter.

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