India "appears no closer to a return to the Olympic fold" as officials from the country's Olympic association and sports ministry "bicker over a controversial government sports code," according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. The IOC banned the country after refusing to recognize the results of Indian Olympic Association elections held on Dec. 5 "due to government interference, which led to a tainted official being named its new secretary general." The IOA and sports ministry "blame each other for failing to arrive at a consensus over the controversial code," which would restrict age and term limits for sports administrators. In a letter to the IOC last week, IOA acting chief and Indian Archery Association Head V.K. Malhotra "accused the sports ministry of railroading national federations into accepting the sports bill." Malhotra wrote, "While we endorsed your move for a dialogue involving the government, it has gone ahead and constituted a committee to re-draft the controversial sports bill, which is in total breach of the Olympic charter." In a letter addressed to IOC President Jacques Rogge, Clean Sports India, a movement for corruption-free sports in the country, "accused Malhotra of delaying the process of getting the ban rescinded" due to his "vested interest." A top-level source said that 53 of 55 national sports federations "had agreed to the code and it was Malhotra and IOC member Randhir Singh who were resisting it, thus delaying India's return to the Olympic family" (REUTERS, 4/10).
The isportconnect 2020 Olympic Games poll asked, “Which bidding city do you think should host the 2020 Olympics?” and “Which sport do you think should be included in the 2020 Olympics?” with Instanbul and squash being the top responses, according to ISPORTCONNECT. After four weeks and nearly 5,000 votes, "Istanbul is the front runner with 44.5% of the votes, with Madrid in second and Tokyo in last with 21% of the votes." Focusing on the eight sports looking to enter the Olympics, "there is an extremely tight battle at the top." Squash is "in the lead with 22.1% of voters opting for the sport." It is closely closely followed by wrestling. Roller sports (5.6%) and baseball/softball (6.9%) "are at the wrong end of the votes" (ISPORTCONNECT, 4/9).