Cleans Sports India Welcoms IOC's Suspension Of IOA
Cleans Sports India welcomed the IOC's decision to disband the Indian Olympic Association, "stating that the suspension has substantiated the country's sports fraternity's fight against the corrupt officials of the national sports body," according to the PTI. A CSI release said, "We feel that our fight against the officials of IOA and its malfunctioning under the leadership of Suresh Kalmadi and VK Malhotra is vindicated. In India there is a huge public outrage against these officials and all political leaders who are running our federations without restricting entries to sportsmen who have competed at the highest level." CSI also said that it "will co-operate with the IOC in starting reforms in the Indian Olympic Movement." However, it said the IOC must start the reform process soon "so that the suspension of IOA is revoked at the earliest to protect the interests of our current sportspersons" (PTI, 12/11). The PTI also reported former field hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan on Tuesday said that the suspension imposed on the IOA by the IOC "will prove beneficial for sports in the country." Aslam said, "The IOC basically wanted IOA to adhere to its charter and conduct elections so that persons with tainted background can be prevented from entering the sports body. This will definitely prove beneficial for sports and the country in future" (PTI, 12/11).
FAR-REACHING RAMIFICATIONS: THE HINDU noted "what are the implication of the suspension?" Indian athletes "would not be able to compete in multi-discipline games that came under the jurisdiction of the IOC, namely the Olympics and the Asian Games." Other int'l federations "did not seem to have been influenced by the IOC decision at this stage at least." Int'l Association of Athletics Federations Deputy Secretary General and Communications Dir Nick Davies said, "There is no connection between an IOC sanction of its NOC and the federation of athletics which is affiliated to IAAF -- so, for now, there is no impact on participation of Indian federation and its athletes at IAAF events." Int'l Hockey Federation Communications Manager Jenny Wiedeke said, "The IOC decision has no impact on FIH events." Contrary to what is being constantly projected in sections of the media, the IOC "sanction does not allow Indian athletes to compete under the Olympic flag." IOC's NOC Relations Dir Pere Miro said, "The IOA has lost all the rights covered by the Olympic Charter. Today, for Indian athletes it is not possible to take part in any competition under IOC jurisdiction" (THE HINDU, 12/11).