New Delhi: The government has failed to
understand the Olympic Charter and should have consulted the
International Olympic Committee before issuing the regulation
to limit the tenures of sports administrators, IOA secretary
general Randhir Singh said on Thursday.
"The Government has done a big mistake by going against
the Olympic Charter. Now they are sending a representative to
consult with IOC. But I think, they should have talked to the
IOC before issuing the guideline," Randhir told reporters.
The IOA secretary general`s remarks came a day after the
government offered to send an official to IOC headquarters in
Lausanne, Switzerland to clear the roadblocks and implement
the regulation which seeks to limit the tenure of National
Sports Federation (NSF) and IOA bosses.
Randhir questioned the timing of the regulation and said
the Sports Ministry failed to understand the Olympic Charter
which makes it clear that government cannot infringe on the
autonomy of the NSFs.
"Such developments are unfortunate specially when the
Commonwealth Games is inching closer. I think, the whole
incident has taken place due to not understanding of the
"But you have to respect the Olympic Charter which
doesn`t want any political interferrence. The charter has to
be maintained if we want to remain in the Olympic family," he
Randhir had earlier flaunted letters of support from IOC
and Olympic Council of Asia even though the Sports Ministry
saw a "conflict of interests" in his role as members of both
IOC and IOA.
Randhir said the "personal attack" on him was
"This is very sad and unfortunate that they are
questioning my credibility. They say I have some vested
interests. They are attacking the integrity of a person who
has dedicated his life to sports," he said.
"The Ministry has no business to question my integrity
and credibility as a sportsperson, sports administrator and
IOC member. In sports circle the world over, people would
vouch for my honesty in whatever I have done all these years,
particularly to promote sports in India," he said.
"Ministry`s grouse seems to be that I had approached the
IOC without consulting the government. But there is no need
for me to consult the government on issues relating to IOC and
I`m not bound at all," Randhir asserted.
"We have informed IOC about all the developments. It`s
our duty to keep the IOC informed but this incident showed
India in poor light. What purpose will it serve when the whole
world comes to know about the controversy?" he asked.
"Commonwealth Games are nearing and the government should
now concentrate fully on the preparation of the venues. There
are concerns about some of the venues like Jawaharlal Nehru
Stadium and the Ministry now should not waste time over such
issues," Randhir said.
Interestingly, Randhir also had some words of praise for
Sports Minister M S Gill.
"The Sports Minister otherwise has brought in some very
good changes. I personally praise the Minister, who has been a
great help to the sportspersons. He has also done a good job
by hiking pension of the former players," Randhir said.
"But the latest development is an unfortunate one and the
timing is also wrong. I request the government to go through
the guidelines of Olympic Charter because we want to solve the
problem amicably," Randhir added.