IOC meeting Govt`s last chance to avert a disaster: Randhir

New Delhi: Ahead of Friday`s crucial meeting
in Lausanne, IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh on Wednesday advised
the Sports Ministry not to pursue its "brinkmanship" over the
contentious tenure limitation guidelines, warning it may lead
to a disaster which is easily avoidable.

The confrontation over the guidelines has reached the
International Olympic Council (IOC), which would hear the case
on Friday in its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas will represent the Sports
Ministry in the meeting which Randhir will attend in his
capacity as an IOC member. Husain Al-Musallam, Director
General and Technical Director of the Olympic Council Asia
(OCA) will also be present on the occasion.

"The Ministry has to climb down, there is no way out.
Going ahead with the brinkmanship would lead to a disaster,
which is so easily avoidable," Randhir told reporters.

The Ministry guidelines seek to fix tenures of the sports
administrators across the country and it pointed out to IOC`s
stress on good governance.

Randhir said IOA, which is in touch with IOC, has no
issues with good governance and in fact, it was planning to
amend its constitution.

"We have seen the suggestions and taken note. They don`t
need to tell us about good governance. Good governance has
nothing to do with fixing the tenure of the National Sports
Federation (NSF) bosses. It is all about having good, fair and
transparent administration.”

"We are in touch with IOC and our constitution is being
amended to ensure transparency in finance and team selection,
holding proper elections on schedule, having proper athletics
and ethics commissions... there is no need for term
limitation," said the shooter-turned-administrator who leaves
for Switzerland tomorrow.

Randhir said IOA always want to work in harmony with the

"We have been insisting that IOA and government need to
work together but they are hell bent on one thing. If the
matter is not resolved in Friday`s meeting and reaches the IOC
Executive Board meeting later this month, any punishment is
possible," Randhir warned.

"They have been categorically told to keep the guidelines
in abeyance. If anything untoward happens on Friday, that
would jeopardise everything, the Commonwealth Games at home
and out participation in events like Asian Games and Youth
Olympics," he added.

"I appeal to the Ministry to withdraw the guideline. The
whole issue is going to be a huge embarrassment for the

"What they don`t try to understand is that IOC is not
going to change its constitution to oblige them. The Ministry
has to go by the Olympic Charter, there can be no other way,"
he said.

Randhir also criticised the "government interference" in
recent elections in the badminton and swimming federations.

"I think there was a lesson to learn from those
elections. The government tried to directly influence those
elections and interfere. They asked the boards to walk out,
which obviously did not work," he said.

The Sports Ministry guideline in question fixes an NSF
president`s term to 12 years, suggests secretaries and
treasurers cannot function for more than eight years at a
stretch while advocating a 70-year retirement age for all

Put into effect, the guideline would end the reign of
long-standing administrators like IOA President Suresh Kalmadi
and NSF chiefs like VK Verma (badminton), VK Malhotra
(archery), Jagdish Tytler (judo), SS Dhindsa (cycling) and KP
Singh Deo (rowing).

IOA and NSF officials cited Olympic Charter, calling the
guidelines an infringement on their autonomy.

The Sports Ministry subsequently sought a meeting with
IOC, which invited Sports Minister MS Gill for a meeting on

The IOC, however, insisted that the Ministry would not
enforce the guidelines till then.


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