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Jitendra Singh disappointed with IOC’s move to suspend IOA

New Delhi, Dec 5 (ANI): Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday termed as extremely unfortunate the International Olympic Committee’s decision to suspend the Indian Olympic Association because of government’s interference in the elections.

“As of now, we have to immediately sit together. And it is very important for the image of the country, for sports and for the sportspersons. This problem, which has come up, we can resolve that. I would also like to say that it’s very very sad that despite the warnings of the IOC, the IOA did not amend the constitution,” said Singh.

“And I would like to absolutely state here that the Sports Code is in sync with the IOC Charter. There is no difference,” he added.

The Sports Minister further said that there should be transparency, age limits and tenure in any organisation, including all the associations.

IOA acting chief VK Malhotra had earlier on Tuesday said he hadn’t received any official communication from IOC so far although he acknowledged getting a letter on November 23.

“I don’t know what exactly has happened. That is why it would be better for me not to comment much. If they have suspended us then it would cause major problems. They had written a letter to us on 23rd (November) and sought reply within seven days. On the same, I wrote to the Prime Minister about it,” said Malhotra.

Politicians Abhay Singh Chautala, the lone presidential candidate who is set to become the new IOA chief after polls, called the decision of IOC as one-sided and wrong.

“I had written a letter on the behalf of federations that we would like to send a two-member committee to them and we sought time to explain our position. We have not received any reply till now. It is a wrong decision and it is one-sided (arbitrary) decision. We will approach the IOC again,” said Chautala.

According to reports, the International Olympic Committee had repeatedly told the Indian body to adhere to its own constitution and the Olympic Charter and not follow the government’s sports code.

The decision was taken after the IOA decided to go ahead with the elections on Wednesday under the government’s Sports Code, defying the IOC’s diktat to hold the polls under the Olympic Charter. IOA went ahead saying they were bound by the Delhi High Court order.

The suspension means that India’s athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, but they can participate under the IOC banner.

The IOC’s decision taken in Lausanne, Switzerland- will prevent India from taking part in Olympics. (ANI)