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IOA TO DEFY IOC

IOA TO DEFY IOC
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Highlights

The constitution of the IOA is being amended. It is our duty to be there. We are all going there as one family and we should work together for the...

The constitution of the IOA is being amended. It is our duty to be there. We are all going there as one family and we should work together for the benefit of sports in the country-Randhir Singh.

It may put India's return to the Olympic fold in jeopardy but the suspended IOA's general body meeting on Sunday is all set to ignore the IOC's directive to bar charge-sheeted officials from contesting elections through constitutional amendments. The defiant move may put a spanner on the country's return to the Olympics but IOA officials have asserted that amendments to bar corruption- tainted officials cannot be carried out as Indian law permits charge-sheeted persons to contest even Parliament elections.

The IOC had on August 15 asked the IOA to amend its constitution incorporating the provisions to bar corruption- tainted persons from contesting elections proposed to be held next month. It had subsequently warned of further action if the amendments were not carried out in Sunday's general body meeting. But the IOA, led by Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, who were elected president and secretary general in the December 5 last elections which were not recognised by the IOC, has remained defiant. The likes of Bhanot and VK Verma, who were charge-sheeted in the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam along with former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, would not be able to contest elections if the anti-graft amendments are incorporated. It is learnt that majority of the IOA officials are opposed to the amendments proposed by the IOC and Sunday's GBM may well turn out to be a mere forum where officials have a general discussion without taking any decision.

"The general body is the highest decision making body of the IOA and it is competent to take whatever decision the House agrees to. As of now most of the members are not in favour of several provisions proposed by the IOC," a top IOA official said. This despite the fact that the IOC had clearly stated that India's return in the Olympic fold could be in trouble in reply to a letter shot off by the IOA which insisted that the law of the land would prevail. It is learnt that the IOA officials want to buy some time considering the fact that a new IOC president will be elected on September 7 in Buenos Aires in place of incumbent Jacques Rogge with the hope that the new head of the world body will have a sympathetic view towards the IOA.

But it remains to be seen what the three IOC observers will say in their report once they return to Lausanne. It will also have to be seen whether Randhir Singh and VK Malhotra, technically still the secretary general and acting chief respectively of the IOA recognised by the IOC, will attend the meeting or not amid reports that all the Indian officials have been trying to close ranks and present a united stand before the IOC. Randhir, on his part, said that he will attend the meeting "100 per cent". "The constitution of the IOA is being amended. It is our duty to be there. We are all going there as one family and we should work together for the benefit of sports in the country", Randhir said. The technicality of who would chair Sunday's meeting has also been resolved as it is learnt that the assembled members will elect the chairman before the conclave starts.

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