IOA continues to defy IOC on chargesheet clause
New Delhi: The suspended Indian Olympic Association continued to be in a defiant mood despite the IOC`s tough stand on the chargesheet clause, saying Indian law would prevail on these matters and the world body cannot force these provisions upon it.
"We can`t go beyond the law of our land. We will make our constitution according to the law of the land. We have clearly told the two-member IOC delegation that we can`t go beyond the law of the land," said the suspended IOA`s president Abhay Singh Chautala.
India`s wait to get back to Olympic fold was delayed further after the IOC stuck to its stand on the chargesheet clause, clearly stating that the IOA has to adopt it in order to ensure good governance.
The IOC stood firm on its stand during its Executive Board (EB) meeting in Buenos Aires on Wednesday ahead of the 125th IOC Session and asked IOA to accept all demands in full, including barring chargesheeted persons from contesting IOA`s elections.
In its Special General Body Meeting last month, the IOA had proposed a compromise formula, wherein the sanction will apply only to those officials who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years.
Chautala trained his guns on IOC`s representative in the country, Randhir Singh and held him responsible for the current mess.
"Randhir has destroyed Indian sports. He himself was the secretary general of IOA for 25 years but during his 25-year-long tenure, he was not being able to produce a single sportperson who has made India proud. He himself was an Olympian but failed to produce Olympians. He just enjoyed his position, went on foreign tours and destroyed IOA`s money," Chautala alleged.
"Ask him whether he is with the law of the land or with the IOC?" Chautala asked.
Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the acting-president of the IOA, demanded that the IOC should make the contentious chargesheet clause mandatory for all member nations.
"The IOC (chargesheet) clause should be applicable to all member countries. If it is for all countries, naturally, we will have to follow it. I don`t think this clause is in the constitution of other countries because these questions never arose before," said Malhotra.
The veteran administrator even urged the IOC to become more specific about the chargesheet clause.
"We have to follow the IOC charter. The only thing is they can have more clarifications here and there. Definitely, I am also of the opinion that people facing criminal and corruption charges shouldn`t contest the election. But we need see to what stage it can be made applicable.
"The government has also taken its view on it and gone to the Supreme Court. So we will like to study all these things and then convey our acceptance to the IOC clause," Malhotra added.
Malhotra said he was not in a position to tell what transpired in the IOA`s Special General Meeting held on August 25 in the capital as he did not attend it.
"I didn`t attend the meeting because I as a president didn`t call it. So, what transpired there I didn`t have first-hand knowledge. But now I will have to discuss it with all those people.
"I have talked to IOA members (after the meeting) and they said that IOC members were convinced and the ban will be lifted. It appeared that they were convinced that India has done whatever they were needed to do. But IOC should have clearly told at the time when the clause was being discussed that if you don`t agree to this clause, we will not lift the ban," he said.
Malhotra, however, said IOA must stand united and find out a way by which the ban could be lifted.
"The continuance of the ban is definitely detrimental to Indian sports and India`s prestige also. I am quite unhappy that India is out of the Olympic movement at the moment."
IOA`s senior Vice President Tarlochan Singh said "chargesheet is a very minor thing in India".
"Chargesheet is a very minor thing in India. We have to convince the IOC otherwise they won`t withdraw the suspension. We have been telling them that in India, there is Court, Parliament, there is law and jurisdication. As per it, you can`t bar a person. We have already put a clause in our constitution that anybody convicted for two years cannot be a member of the IOA," he said.
Tarlochan said the IOA would convene a general body meeting once they receive the IOC`s latest communication.
"When it comes to us, another meeting of the IOA General Body has to be called because the decision has to be adopted by the two-third majority of the house," he added.
Clean Sports India`s president Ashwini Nachappa expressed her happiness over IOC`s firm stand on the issue.
"We are not in a situation like BCCI where they are bigger than the ICC. It is for the first time IOC has taken such a firm decision. They are very serious on the change that is need to be addressed," she said.
India was suspended from the Olympic movement in December last year after tainted Lalit Bhanot, who is facing corruption charges linked to the scandal-hit 2010 Commonwealth Games, was elected secretary-general of the IOA.
The IOC asked the IOA to amend its constitution to keep officials facing criminal or corruption charges out of the election process.