The controversial elections to Indian Olympic Association seemed headed for more trouble with the International Olympic Committee today threatening to disaffiliate the national sports body if it follows government guidelines in the polls, prompting the IOA acting chief to seek Prime Minister's intervention to resolve the matter.
On a day of dramatic development, the IOC and Olympic Council of Asia sent a strongly-worded letter to IOA warning strong action if it did not clarify its stand on the issue by November 30.
".. it is our understanding that IOA is unable to confirm that IOA's elections will be held strictly in accordance with rules of Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution currently in force. On the contrary, it is mentioned that the government regulations shall apply for IOA's elections, thus ignoring the Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution," IOC President chief Jacques Rogge and OCA chief Al Sabah said in a joint letter.
"Unless you rectify the situation with immediate effect and give a clear and written guarantee to IOC to ensure that elections be held strictly on the basis of the Olympic Charter and IOA's constitution, we inform you that a proposal for suspension of your NOC will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4-5 December 2012, based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter," the letter stated.
Barely a few hours after the IOC letter was circulated to the media, IOA acting chief V K Malhotra wrote a letter to the PM asking him to withdraw the Sports Code urgently.
"I have just received a letter from the IOC in which it has threatened to disaffiliate IOA if its elections scheduled to be held here on 5th December are held as per Sports Code of Government of India," Malhotra said in the letter to the PM.
"Given the gravity of situation, as the fate of thousands of Indian sportspersons is linked with it, I sincerely appeal to you to immediately ask the Sports Ministry to withdraw this Sports Code.
"Disaffiliation from IOC will not be good for reputation and prestige of the country. It will seriously impede our progress in sports and demoralise sportspersons. India at this stage can ill-afford such a situation, hence the request you to step in and urgently withdraw this ill conceived Sports Code."