New Delhi: Fifteen Olympians today welcomed International Olympic Committee sticking to its stand to bar chargesheeted persons from contesting elections of the Indian Olympic Association, saying the move will help in Indian sports getting rid of corruption.
The Olympians, mostly former hockey players, thanked the IOC in a letter to its president for its firm stand to bar charge-sheeted person from holding post in the IOA.
"We Olympians sincerely thank you for rejecting the IOA request and being firm in your earlier decision taken to include the provision in the IOA Constitution to prevent persons who are charged with criminal offences from contesting or holding any position in National Olympic Committee (IOA)," said the letter.
"This move by IOC is a great step forward to get Indian Sporting System completely rid of corruption and mismanagement prevailing in Indian Sports," it said.
"Since the IOA is still currently suspended by IOC ... and in spite of various warnings to the IOA, these tainted and dubious officials still continue and want to lead the Indian Olympic Movement in India creating further turmoil in the sporting world."
The IOA had yesterday sent a reply to the IOC, objecting to the world body`s directive, saying that Indian law does not bar chargesheeted persons from even contesting Parliamentary elections and so the provision cannot be implemented.
IOC today stuck to its and said that entertaining IOA`s objections would amount to undermining Olympic Charter.
The Olympians said that the "Constitution of India and several other laws expect highest form of integrity of public life but some of the politicians of India have managed to keep few provisions in Indian election law to give them the space to keep contesting elections even after being charged with criminal offences."
"Further even the Supreme Court of India has delivered a judgment for tightening the loopholes in the election law."
The Olympians who wrote the letter are: Joaquim Carvalho, Gurbax Singh Grewal, Kulwant Arora, Balbir Singh Grewal, Merwyn Fernandes, V Bhaskaran, Romeo James, Vineet Kumar, M P Singh, M P Ganesh, Jude Felix, Gavin Fereira, Baldev Singh, S S Sodhi, Devesh Chauhan.
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal