The gloves are off!
A day after International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) latest diktat on the issue of chargesheeted officials, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Abhay Singh Chautala launched a scathing attack against the country’s first Olympic
individual gold medallist, shooter Abhinav Bindra.
The IOC’s assertion has further delayed India’s return to the Olympic fold and an infuriated Chautala on Friday said that Bindra should first clean his own house before campaigning for the clean-up of Indian sports.
“What is he talking about? His father also served some time in jail. If Abhinav Bindra feels that charge-sheeted people should be stripped of their positions, then why should he not throw his father out of the house?” ranted Chautala.
Bindra has been leading the campaign against the tainted officials in the IOA
and was also part of the government delegation which went to Lausanne to meet the IOC top brass in July.
“Ethics is one of the main reasons for our suspension. Unless we get that right, we are not going to get back in. Why is that so difficult to understand?” Bindra had stated.
Chautala’s comment drew sharp reaction from the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, who slammed back, “Chautala should focus on putting his own house in order”.
“It’s like the big pot calling the small kettle black. People who live in glass houses should not make such statements. Our Olympic medallist is being attacked with very shallow words. I know the Bindra family well. Bindra has every right to speak,” said Raninder.
Bindra has also received support from tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi.
“I promise you Abhinav, you have all the support you need and more. You are and will always remain India’s Golden boy,” tweeted Bhupathi immediately after Chautala’s outburst.
Meanwhile, Union sports minister Jitendra Singh reiterated that the deadline of October 31, which has been given by IOC to IOA to amend its constitution, stands final.
He hinted that the government will request the IOC to find an “alternative solution”, in case there is no headway in the current impasse, so that the interests of the country’s athletes are protected.
“The Government of India is fine with the IOC diktat that the IOA must include the ‘chargesheet’ clause for better governance. We have to request the IOC for an alternative solution so that our athletes don’t suffer,” said the minister.
IOA has been in exile since last December when the IOC’s Executive Board suspended India after Lalit Bhanot, who is facing corruption charges linked to the scandal-hit 2010 Commonwealth Games, was elected secretary general of the IOA.
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