IOC bans Indian Olympic Association, elections void

LAUSANNE, Switzerland Wed Dec 5, 2012 3:58am IST

The hands of Andreas Toba of Germany are pictured as he competes in the rings during the men's gymnastics team final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The hands of Andreas Toba of Germany are pictured as he competes in the rings during the men's gymnastics team final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Related Topics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Indian Olympic Association has been banned and elections on Wednesday will be "null and void", the IOC said on Tuesday, claiming government interference in a vote that could result in a tainted official taking over as secretary-general.

"They are not entitled to have elections and if for some reason they go ahead this will not be recognised," said the IOC's Pere Miro, in charge of relations with national Olympic committees.

"This is because this is part of a full problem. The election process has been tarnished since the origin. Many different interferences, many governmental rules and their own bad interpretation of IOA statutes," Miro said.

Miro, who said Kuwait escaped a similar ban due to an amendment of its sports law, said the ban was triggered by both government interference and bad governance by the IOA.

"What happened in the past is null and if something happens now it is the same," Miro told reporters.

The ban means an effective end to funding from the IOC to the national Olympic committee (IOA), no Indian officials attending Olympic meetings and Indian athletes banned from competing at the Olympics under their country's flag.

Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year following corruption charges that plagued the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and who is out on bail, was confirmed for the post last week after the rival faction pulled out ahead of Wednesday's election.

The IOC has been angered by government interference in the elections and had warned the IOA in a letter of a possible suspension.

"This is wrong and completely unilateral," Abhay Singh Chautala, who is expected to be elected as IOA President on Friday, told reporters.

"We'd go to the IOC again and explain them of the actual situation and the details of the election. This ban was completely thrust on us.

"It's a unilateral decision. The IOA acting president had written to the IOC but they didn't reply. I had also written a letter saying we are sending two members to explain the situation and requested for appointment. Again there was no answer to that."

The IOA has been directed by a Delhi court to hold the elections adhering to the government's sports code, while the IOC wants the governing body to abide by the Olympic charter.

The IOC blamed non-cooperation by the Indian government and the IOA for the current situation.

Acting IOA President VK Malhotra said his organisation was caught in the middle.

"We had gone to the prime minister and asked him not to pass that controversial bill. The bill was not passed but the code was imposed. That's how the problem started," he said.

"Now the IOC is complaining of government interference, while court and government want us to go by the code. We were caught in the crossfire. We will try and find some reconciliation so that our athletes don't suffer."

(Additional reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John Mehaffey and Ed Osmond)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Markets

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Segway in India

Segway in India

Segway’s India business pegs hope on tech-savvy Modi  Full Article 

Power Outage

Power Outage

Mumbai hit by power cuts  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold imports, premiums to jump on festive demand - top refiner  Full Article 

Economic Worries

Economic Worries

Pakistan's promises to IMF in doubt as protests sap economy   Full Article 

Islamic Finance

Islamic Finance

Basel III deposit challenge looms over Islamic banks   Full Article 

Antitrust Probes

Antitrust Probes

U.S. business lobby says concerned China antitrust probes unfair.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage