New Delhi: Clean Sports India, a movement for corrruption-free sports in the country, on Wednesday accused Indian Olympic Association's acting president, V K Malhotra of deliberately delaying the process of getting India's ban from the Olympics lifted by the IOC for his "vested interest".
"Malhotra is refusing to go to Lausanne to meet IOC officials and resolve the issue of India's suspension with the IOC. He wants the government to relax age and tenure guidelines. He is not interested to get the suspension revoked and let Indian sportsmen again carry the national flag in the forthcoming events," CSI national convener, B V P Rao said in a statement.
The joint meeting between the representatives of the suspended IOA, the Sports Ministry and the IOC, to find a way to resolve the issue that led to India's ban from the Olympics, had been postponed because of the continuing standoff. The meeting scheduled to be held at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 15 and 16, has now become uncertain as the representatives of the IOC-recognised IOA, V K Malhotra and Randhir Singh, and the Sports Ministry have not made headway over differences in age and tenure restrictions.
"Malhotra wants to continue with the age-old system of sports administration which is threatened by Sports Code. Sports Minister's good intention to bring new institutions like the Election Commission, Dispute mechanism and Ethics commission to bring about transparency and accountability is seen as a major threat to veteran adminstrators like Malhotra," Rao said.
Accusing Malhotra of having "vested interest" and flouting the age and tenure guideline, CSI said the veteran administrator has no moral authority to continue in office as the president of the Archery Association of India (AAI).
"Mr Malhotra, who is 81-year-old with 40 years as president of the Archery Association of India still wants to control the federation and the sports at the cost of younger generation," Rao added. Rao, who unsuccessfully contested against Malhotra for the post of AAI president recently, further said that it's a blatant show by Malhotra of putting his personal interest in front of national interest in sports.
Welcoming Nitish Kumar's statement that sportspersons should themselves run their associations, CSI president and Olympian Ashwini Nachappa said the politicians should take a leaf out of Bihar Chief Minister's book. Clean Sports India (CSI) felt that politicians should not unnecessarily meddle in sports affairs nor try to control or regulate the NSFs.
"CSI welcomes Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's statement that sportspersons should run sports organisations and that they should be at the helm of such affairs. We ask all politicians of the country to take a leaf out of Nitish Kumar's book and leave the sports administration to former sportspersons," Nachappa said. Reeth Abraham, joint convener, CSI said, "CSI supports the minister for his new initiative and will go to public to generate a favourable opinion."