Stand-off over Sports Code nearing resolution: Sports Minister

New Delhi: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday that the stand-off between the government and the IOA over the contentious Sports Code was nearing resolution, a development which could pave the way for India putting up a united front in the joint meeting with the IOC in May.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with IOC member in India, Randhir Singh, Jitendra said he was confident of India returning to the Olympic movement soon.

"Most of the matters concerning the Sports Code have been resolved with all the stakeholders. Let me assure you that all the issues will be resolved soon," Jitendra said.

The Minister said all the National Sports Federations (NSFs) were willing to adopt the Sports Code.

"Yes, the NSFs are willing to adopt the Sports Code. The Sports Code is same as the Olympic charter," he said.

"As far as we are concerned, we respect the autonomy of the NSFs and we do not intend to interfere with their functioning," said Jitendra.

A meeting between the Sports Minister and IOA acting chief V K Malhotra will take place on Thursday and Jitendra said he hoped that India will be able to put up a common front in the upcoming joint meeting with International Olympic Committee in Lausanne on May 7.

Randhir said that all parties would have to work together in order to bring India back into the Olympic fold.

"If we have to bring India back into the Olympic movement, we will have to work together. The government does not find any problem with the autonomy of the IOA.

"The Minister will be meeting Mr Malhotra on Thursday for a discussion. As soon as the Olympic committee constitution is in place we will inform the court about it," said Randhir.

The IOC had last week invited representatives of the suspended IOA and Sports Ministry for a meeting in Lausanne on May 7 in yet another attempt to find a way out for India`s return to the Olympic movement after the world body banned the country in December last.

The continuing stand-off between the government and sports administrators over the controversial Sports Code had resulted in the postponement of the joint meeting with the IOC thrice.

The Ministry had said that an agreement on the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code was required for any fruitful discussion with the IOC to pave way for lifting the ban on India.

The IOC last December suspended the IOA for adhering to the Sports Code in its elections held in December last.