Sports Ministry official under criticism from CSI

Updated: Jun 23, 2013, 18:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Clean Sports India, a movement for corruption-free sports, on Sunday came down heavily on the suspended IOA officials for "illegally" trying to bring about the amendments in its constitution in the wake of IOC`s directive to do so to lift the ban on India.

The CSI, in a symposium organised by it on the occasion of Olympics Day here, was also critical of a top Sports Ministry official for "hobnobbing" with officials of the IOA who are not recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Blaming the IOA squarely for the current mess in Indian sports, CSI President Ashwini Nachappa said that the national apex body should now enforce the basic principles of ethics and good governance.

"The IOC, while giving reasons for India`s suspension in December last, had clearly stated that the IOA had been unable to observe its statutes and the Olympic Charter and to enforce the basic principles of ethics and good governance," Nachappa said in her opening remarks of the symposium on `IOC roadmap for revocation of suspension of India`.

"Time has come for the stakeholders of Indian sports to lay emphasis on ethics and good governance. We should not allow tainted officials to be a part of Olympic Movement in India and play illegal role in the whole process (of India`s return to Olympic fold)," she added.

The speakers also slammed Sports Secretary P K Deb for chairing a meeting to discuss the draft amendments of the IOA Constitution on April 22, which was attended by president of the suspended IOA Abhey Singh Chautala and his Executive Council colleagues.

"He has no business to chair the meeting and that too one which was attended by tainted people, not recognised by the IOC. He has compromised the well being of Indian sports by doing that," lawyer Rahul Mehra, a speaker in the symposium, said.

CSI convenor B V P Rao said his organisation was not happy with the draft amendments and also with the Sports Secretary hobnobbing with the tainted officials.

"We are not happy with the draft amendments which were decided in that meeting chaired by sports secretary and attended by tainted and suspended IOA officials. We are extremely unhappy with the way the sports secretary chose to hobnob with these officials," Rao said.

A blueprint on how India would return to the Olympic fold was prepared in a Lausanne meeting on May 15 which was attended by IOC officials, Sports Minister, Sports secretary and members of the suspended IOA.

The IOC later issued the blueprint which directed the IOA to amend its constitution in compliance with Olympic Charter before July 15 and hold fresh elections by September 1.

Mehra was of the opinion that some clauses of the draft amendments ran counter with the Government`s Sports Code whose implementation in the IOA election process in December last had led to India`s ban by the IOC.

"Some of draft amendments were against Sports Code. For example, they provide for the post of Honarary Chairman. Then, the office bearers and members of Executive Council require just simple majority to get re-elected for a second term while the Sports Code requires two-third majority.

"The worst part is that age and tenure rules would apply only to the three posts of President, Secretary General and Treasurer, while under Olympic Charter they apply to all office bearers and Executive posts of IOC. How can Sports Secretary do this if he really wants good of Indian sports," Mehra asked.

Former India cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi said that people should no longer tolerate sports administrators who are tainted and have vested interest.

"In this country, the rot in sports administration is from top. As a former cricketer I can tell that cricket is the worst-run sports in the country," Bedi said.

He said such a movement against tainted and self-serving administrators should be sustained.

"We have to sustain this kind of movements. Public memory is short. We have forgotten IPL scandal. Everybody, including the bookies, have got bails. Only poor chap (Ajit Chandila) has not got bail. And now there is talk of upar wala Chowdhury (alluding to N Srinivasan) going (for ICC meeting)," said Bedi.