Defiant IOA to go ahead with Executive Council meeting
A file photo of former acting president of IOA, Vijay Kumar Malhotra (left) with IOA Secretary-General Randhir Singh. The IOC still recognises Mr. Malhotra and Mr. Singh as legitimate representatives of the National Olympic Committee. | The Hindu

Undeterred by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) refusal to recognise it, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to go ahead with its Executive Council meeting on January 19, a move which could put National Sports Federations (NSFs) in a spot in the wake of the world body’s warning not to deal with the IOA.

The IOC, in its latest letter addressed to V.K. Malhotra, who was the acting IOA chief before the controversy-marred December 5 elections, had warned the NSFs not to associate with the current office-bearers led by Abhay Singh Chautala whom the world body described as “illegitimate individuals.”

But in a circular to the heads of NSFs and state Olympic bodies, a defiant Mr. Chautala said the Executive Council meeting would be held as scheduled. In the circular Mr. Chautala said: “I am forwarding herewith a letter dated January 14, received from Pere Miro, NOC Relations Director, IOC, and Hussain Al-Musallam, Director General and Technical Director, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which has been addressed to Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra and which has been forwarded by him to me for necessary action.”

“In the Executive Council Meeting to be held on January 19, our endeavour will be to get back into the IOC and we would like to discuss this letter, so that appropriate action can be taken by us in this regard,” Mr. Chautala said.

Since the suspension of the IOA on December 4 last year on the ground of government interference, the IOC has refused to deal with the office-bearers led by Mr. Chautala. The world body had declared the controversy-marred elections held a day after the suspension as null and void.

The IOC, in its latest letter, had also proposed a meeting with the IOA led by Mr. Malhotra, and a government representative, while also maintaining that the lifting of the ban on India would be considered only after the elections are held solely under the Olympic Charter.

The IOC still continues to recognise Mr. Malhotra as the legitimate head of the IOA.

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