CHENNAI: Acting Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Anil Khanna is a busy man nowadays. The Delhi High Court had directed him, as the senior vice president, to oversee the affairs of IOA as acting president after removing Narinder Batra from the top post.
Though there have been murmurs within the IOA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not vetted it as yet, Khanna feels everything should be fine.
And of course, he said that everything is fine in IOA and there is no fighting between factions.
Not that Khanna has not seen such challenges before. As an official who has occupied posts like the treasurer and senior vice president in the IOA, he has been witness to such teething issues before sending teams abroad for Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games.
For Khanna priority is to send the team without a glitch this time too. There are things that need to be sorted out, particularly issuing visas to the athletes.
“Right now we are concentrating on issues like granting visas to athletes and officials, and we want everything to be smooth,” he said after the India team kit launch in New Delhi on Thursday.
“For now, sending athletes to CWG is our priority. And then we will look into other things, including amending IOA constitution, following government guidelines and holding subsequent elections.”
Though the IOA executive council has not met nor the IOC has vetted clearly, Khanna feels things would fall into place. “The IOC will wait and watch initially,” he said. “We are part of the same family and things will get sorted out. There should be no problem.” In fact, he said that Batra has assured cooperation to him.
On high-jumper Tejaswin Shankar’s participation in CWG, Khanna said the Commonwealth Games Federation and the organising committee have not accepted his name.
“They have said that only like-for-like replacement is permissible and since he is replacing a quarter-miler, his name will not be accepted now,” he said.
On the other hand, the Athletics Federation of India is saying that they are still trying to get him into the team.
AFI felt that since he was part of the long list that was submitted before the last date July 5, this situation should not have arisen. Tejaswin’s name was included after the athlete approached Delhi High Court.
The AFI had told court that he had been included in place of quarter-miler Arokia Rajiv, who is injured.
Committees for National Games
Not just sending teams to the CWG, Khanna is involved with other top officials of the IOA to streamline the organising of the National Games in Gujarat around September-October.
He said that it’s fortunate that the much-delayed Games will be finally held this year. He said that the state government of Gujarat and the Union sports ministry have been very helpful.
215-athlete contingent for CWG
The Indian Olympic Association has named 108 men and 107 women for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games starting from July 28.