PM should set up GOM to sort out `issues` in sports bill: IOA

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a Group of Ministers (GOM) to sort out the "contentious issues" raised by the National Sports Development Bill which has been rejected by the cabinet for now.

IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra has told the Prime Minister that not only the IOA but all the National Sports Federations (NSFs) are "willing for any scrutiny by the Government agencies."

"We have nothing to hide, the NSFs are open and transparent. The IOA is democratically elected body which strictly follows the constitution of the country and adheres to the Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," Malhotra said.

"We in the IOA and in the NSFs are feeling suffocated by the unfounded and sinister tirade launched against us by certain vested interest. This smear campaign is having crippling effect on our preparations for the London Olympics," he added.

"A wrong and malicious impression is being created in the mind of the general public that IOA is against every government move. This is not correct."

Malhotra said the IOA and all the NSFs have regular elections and the sports federations are already under RTI and their accounts are audited by the CAG.

"The government pays for the sportspersons training and travel at home and abroad and that is also accounted for."

Malhotra said the IOA has always "appreciated Government`s help which has been enormous."

"We have no hesitation to say that without the financial and Infrastructure support by the Government, it is not possible to run the NSFs," Malhotra said.

He cautioned the Government against bringing in a bill to dilute the autonomy of the sports federation, saying that it will lead to "India`s isolation from the Olympic movement and disaffiliation by International Olympic Committee and International Sports Federation".


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