Clean Sports India starts protest against illegal "IOA"



Clean Sports India starts protest against illegal Mumbai: Prompted by a letter from "illegitimate Indian Olympic Association" official Lalit Bhanot, Clean Sports India, headed by Olympian Ashwini Nachappa, on Monday launched a non-cooperation movement against the "illegal" body.

"We, Arjuna Awardees, got a shock ten days ago when we got a letter from Lalit Bhanot asking us to send our bio-data and photographs to adorn the IOA office in Delhi. This is an illegal body as stated by the International Olympic Committee. We don`t want to comply with the request and want all other former awardees also to do so," said former athlete and CSI`s joint convener, Reeth Abraham, at a media conference.

"We think this non-coperation movement launched today and our signed letter, which we are sending to Bhanot, will make a difference. Former shot putter S D Eshan, who also got a similar letter from Bhanot, expressed his shock that this man who had never even acknowledged our existence when we were active athletes has asked us to send our bio-datas and photographs," said the former long jumper and heptathlete.

Twenty one former sportspersons, including Olympians Vandana Rao, Joaquim Carvalho, M M Somaiya, Mervyn Fernandis, Jude Felix, Ashwini, M P Ganesh, Devesh Chauhan, Vandana Shanbaug and M P Singh, have signed the letter expressing their opposition to the "illegitate" body.

CSI convener B V P Rao, who lost the election to the presidentship of the "illegal" body to Abhay Singh Chautala, said his two-year-old organisation would be asking IOC to take action on these guys "individually".

"These four to five people -- Bhanot, Chautala, Suresh Kalmadi (former IOA president), Narinder Batra (Hockey India secretary general) and N Ramachandran (World Squash Federation head) -- want to somehow gain legitimacy for this illegitimate body. The IOC has strongly opposed this. This movement is against these illegitimate IOA officials," he said.

"We are targeting former sportspersons and appealing to them not to co-operate to this letter (by sending their photographs and bio-data). That would be enough. But we don`t want the current lot to join the protest as the federations would hamper their career," said Rao.

PTI