IOC Threatens Defiant Indian Officials, Concerned Over Illegal Activities
The IOC "has asked its recognised Indian members to contemplate taking legal action against officials of the country's suspended Olympic association for misrepresenting the office," according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. The IOC "refused to recognise the results of Indian Olympic Association elections held on Dec. 5 due to government interference, which led to a tainted official being named as its new secretary general." Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year following corruption charges and is on bail pending further investigations, was given the senior IOA post despite the IOC deeming the elections "null and void" (REUTERS, 12/20). IANS reported "the development in the IOA-IOC stand-off comes in the wake of revelations" that newly elected IOA Secretary General Bhanot "was officially communicating with the national sports federations." IOC Dir General Christophe De Kepper wrote in a letter to Randhir Singh, "The IOC is extremely concerned by the ongoing situation of the suspended Indian Olympic Association and the misappropriation of responsibilities and properties by a number of illegitimate individuals claiming to represent the suspended Indian Olympic Association whereas the IOC has already made it clear that the so-called ‘elections’ were null and void and are not recognised by the IOC." It was reported that Bhanot "had begun correspondence with the sports federations on the preparations for major sporting events in the near future" (IANS, 12/20).