New Delhi: In a decision made at the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board meeting in Luassane, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been suspended for holding elections under a controversial government sports code.
Irked by the Indian government's interference in the election process, the IOC took this step having already warned the IOA. Earlier, a Delhi court had directed IOA to hold the elections under a controversial government sports code, while the IOC wanted it to go by its own constitution and the Olympic charter.
The new president-elect of IOA, Abhay Singh Chautala, said: "It's a wrong decision as IOC has not even met our representatives."
However, Chautala held Randhir Singh responsible for the national Olympic body's suspension and demanded the former secretary general's immediate withdrawal from the IOC.
Training his guns at Randhir, Chautala said the IOA executive board will pass resolution in its AGM here on Wednesday, demanding the veteran sports administrator's removal from the IOC.
"From the start to finish Randhir is responsible for the entire mess. To save his chair he can do anything. He should resign first (as IOC member from India) because he has spread all the dirt in Indian sports," Chautala said reacting to IOC's decision to suspend IOA because of government interference.
"Randhir should withdraw (his membership) from the IOC immediately. In tomorrow's Annual General Meeting of IOA we will demand Randhir's withdrawal from the IOC because he is no longer a member of the executive board of IOA," he said.
"We will pass a resolution to this effect in tomorrow's meeting and then sent it across to IOC."
Chautala, who was elected unopposed as IOA president, said the suspension was a "one-sided decision".
"We had written to them, asking them to give some time to our two-member committee to tell them about our position," he said.
"They've not listened to our side. We will go to IOC again and explain to them how elections were carried out here."
One of the first Indian athlete to respond to the news of the IOA's suspension was Mahesh Bhupathi, who tweeted: So I got banned, now the IOA gets banned, they says things like these normally happen in three's.. Wonder what's next!!
While, the 2008 Olympics gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra tweeted: Bye Bye IOA, hope to see u again soon, hopefully cleaner!
Reacting to the suspension, union sports minister Jitender Singh said, "This is very unfortunate and we are finding more details about this..."
Suspension means the Indian body will stop receiving IOC funding and its officials will be banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India's athletes will be barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag, although the IOC could allow them to do so under the Olympic flag.
The IOC had repeatedly told the Indian body to adhere to its own constitution and the Olympic Charter and not follow the government's sports code for this week's elections. The IOC will not recognize the results if the elections are held under government rules.
The election, originally scheduled for last month, has been postponed to Wednesday following the resignation of election commission chairman SY Quraishi.