A day after sports ministry shot off a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requesting a meeting to clear the air regarding the sports bill, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) acting president VK Malhotra slammed the government for interfering with the autonomy of the sports bodies.
In a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, Malhotra described the sports secretary Pradeep K Deb’s letter as “a bizarre testimony of the half truths and distorted facts by a very senior official of the Government of India”. Deb had written a letter to IOC on Wednesday seeking a meeting to sort out misgivings about the sports code. Malhotra said he has no objection to such a meeting as long as sports code is kept in abeyance.
He wrote that the sports code was at the centre of IOA’s tussle with the ministry. “The only bone of contention between the IOA and government is the sports code which we have rejected outrightly. The sports code of the GoI violates everything for which the IOA constitution and the IOC charter stand for. Sports code is exactly opposite to the Olympic Charter,” he said.
Malhotra’s letter coincided with Archery Association of India (AAI) receiving a show cause notice from the ministry, seeking reasons why it did not adhere to the new guidelines on age and tenure in the recently-held elections. “AAI has been asked to reply within 10 days or the ministry will suspend all the funding,” said a senior ministry official.
He wrote that the ministry is trying to misrepresent IOA at the international forum. “The very fact that Deb has directly written to the IOC bypassing the IOA, shows the government’s intentions, interests and interference in the affairs of the IOA.”