Posted On December 31, 2016 By In Slider, Sport And 174 Views

A new year of wilderness awaits Indian Olympic Association

Heading into new year, the Indian Olympic Association risks being drifted into wilderness once again. The sports ministry suspended the IOA on Friday for showing defiance following the appointment of beleaguered administrators Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its life presidents. The decision came after the IOA failed to furnish a satisfactory response to a show-cause notice, which the ministry had issued on Wednesday. The deadline for the IOA to reply was 5pm on Friday. Instead, the Olympic body sought an extention till January 15, saying they needed to consult their president N Ramachandran, who is out of the country. “Government is not satisfied with the response of IOA since they have not given any substantive reply especially with regard to the non-eligibility of Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Chautala. Government considers the reply of IOA only as a ploy to buy time,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry added the IOA will cease to enjoy the ‘privileges’ from the government and all financial aid will be stopped with immediate effect. “The IOA now can’t take any financial assistance, facilities and privileges from the government till the time they are suspended,” sports minister Vijay Goel said. The IOA received financial support from the government primarily during multi-discipline events, with kits and travel being the main areas of expense. The IOA, though, said it hasn’t taken a penny from the ministry in one year. “We paid for the entire expense for the Olympics. Last year, we made it clear that we won’t take any financial help from the government. So the suspension doesn’t really affect us much,” an IOA official said. Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA’s Annual General Meeting in Chennai on December 27, leaving the sports ministry fuming. Following the uproar, Kalmadi declined the offer but Chautala has remained defiant. “This is a serious violation of the norms of good governance by IOA which is the mother sports body and corrective action needs to be taken immediately as it is a matter of national prestige and public sentiments,” the ministry said in a statement. The appointments of the tainted duo also didn’t go down well within IOA’s own house with former Hockey India chief and newly-appointed International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra today resigning as the Olympic body’s associate vice-president in protest.

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