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SBD Global/December 5, 2012/Olympics
IOC Bans Indian Olympic Association Over Controversial Election Process
Published December 5, 2012
INDIA CRITICAL OF DECISION: AFP reported India's sports officials "slammed the IOC's decision" to suspend the country's membership, saying it was "wrong and one-sided." IOA President-elect Abhey Singh Chautala said, "It is wrong and a one-sided decision. We will meet [Wednesday] to decide our future course of action" (AFP, 12/4). PTI reported Chautala held India's IOC representative Randhir Singh responsible for the national Olympic body’s suspension by the IOC and demanded his "immediate withdrawal from the IOC." Chautala: "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" (PTI, 12/4).
CLEANING UP THE MESS: PTI also noted the IOC's decision to ban the IOA gives an "opportunity" to clean the mess, and insisted that the int'l body is "not against the country but against the system." Randhir said, "The mess that is happening today in the Olympic committee needs to be cleaned up. I think what we are heading for now with this suspension is that it gives an opportunity to clean the mess." Asked about Chautala's comment that Radhir was responsible for the mess in the sports body, Radhir said, "He is proclaiming himself as the IOA president on what basis. On an election which the international committee doesn't approve to. Which governing body or election is he talking about who are going to pass a resolution against me. It doesn't matter, India is suspended. he should wake up, it's all over" (PTI, 12/4).
ATHLETES SPEAK OUT: In another piece under the headline "Major embarrassment for India," PTI wrote the sports fraternity "expressed outrage at the IOC's decision to suspend India for government interference, with some athletes blaming the IOA for the entire fiasco." London Games Bronze Medalist rifle shooter Gagan Narang termed the development "unfortunate." Beijing Games Bronze Medalist boxer Vijender Singh agreed with Narang, but "hoped for an early settlement of the issue." Singh: "I hope the matter is resolved early so that there is no long-term implication on athletes" (PTI, 12/4). IANS reported London Games Bronze Medal boxer MC Mary Kom said that "it would be difficult for her to compete without knowing the fate of Indian sports." Mary Kom: "I do not know much about this. I don't have a good feeling about this. I will not be able to give my 100% without the Indian flag." Veteran tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi wrote on Twitter, "So I got banned, now the IOA gets banned, they says things like these normally happen in three's.. Wonder what's next!!" (IANS, 12/4).