Bickering delays appointment of India`s chef de mission for Olympics
New Delhi: India has yet to name its chef de mission for this year`s London Olympics with local media blaming the delay on internal bickering within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Thursday`s Indian Express newspaper said that lobbies in the IOA were backing two different candidates for the job, thus leading to a stalemate which an IOA executive committee meeting in October could not resolve.
IOA acting president V.K. Malhotra was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.
"We are aware that there has been a delay but we will meet soon to finalise the name," Malhotra was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
A seven-member committee was formed to resolve the issue and one of them told Reuters on condition of anonymity that all four present in their only meeting last year favoured weightlifting federation chief B.P. Baishya for the job.
They submitted a signed letter to the IOA but no formal announcement followed.
IOA joint secretary S.M. Bali represented India in a chef de mission`s meeting last year, but the Indian Express claimed that was only because he had a UK visa ready.
Bali suggested an immediate appointment of a chef de mission on his return.
"I have submitted my report to the IOA insisting on the importance and urgency of naming the chef de mission. There are several issues that only a chef de mission can tackle," Bali was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The IOA is also under pressure from the International Olympic Committee which has requested information on its president Suresh Kalmadi.
Head of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Kalmadi was released from prison on bail last month after being arrested in April 2011 on charges of inflating tenders worth millions of dollars for equipment used at the event.