No reason to doubt AFI polls: IAAF

New Delhi: Faced with the Sports Ministry`s threat of de-recognition, the Athletics Federation of India has got a massive shot in the arm as the international body (IAAF) has made it clear that it continues to "recognise the current office-bearers of AFI".

The sports ministry had quashed the election of the president, secretary and treasurer of the AFI earlier this month, and had asked the national sports federation (NSF) to hold fresh polls within 60 days, or before February 28, whichever is earlier. The ministry has also directed the AFI to amend its constitution, failing which it will withdraw recognition of the NSF.

But the IAAF stood firmly behind its member association and said it has no reason to follow in the footsteps of the Indian sports ministry.

"The IAAF has no reason to doubt the results of the elections held by AFI earlier this year, so consequently also recognise the current office bearers. The IAAF will inform the Indian Ministry that this is our position," IAAF`s Deputy Secretary General and Director of Communication, Nic Davies told PTI in an email communication.

Earlier this month, the ministry had termed the April elections to the three key posts of AFI invalid as they were conducted in violation of the Sports Code.

Adille Sumariwala of Maharashtra was elected the president, CV Valson of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka`s Satyanarayan were elected secretary and treasurer, respectively.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recently asked the international sports federations to carefully examine the "complicated" situation in India in the wake of Indian Olympic Association`s (IOA) suspension and take appropriate action to "protect the autonomy of national federations" in the country.

But the IAAF maintained that the IOC`s move will have no effect on Indian athletes` participation in events conducted by the world body.

"The IAAF has noted the action of IOC regarding its NOC in India, but we do not want to mix this with something that is completely distinct, namely the Indian Athletics Federation and its relationship with the IAAF," Davies said.

"In other words, we do not think that the IOC action against its NOC in India directly affects the participation of the Indian Athletics Federation in competitions organised by the IAAF or Area Associations of the IAAF," he insisted.

Davies also said that the tainted Suresh Kalmadi will continue to represent Asia in the IAAF and his representation has nothing to do with his association with the IOA.

Asked about the status of Kalmadi in the IAAF Council after he ceases to be the IOA president, Davies said, "Again this is a case of apples being compared to oranges.

"Suresh Kalmadi`s position on the IAAF Council is a direct consequence only of him being President of the Asian Athletics Association, by which route he enters the IAAF Council as `IAAF Area Representative` for Asia. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his position as IOA President," he added.


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