Have issued show cause notice to IOA: Sports Minister

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) Slamming the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the decision to offer the scam-tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala the post of honorary life presidents, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said on Thursday that a show cause notice has been issued to the national sports body.

The decision, taken at the IOA’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, has caused an uproar with criticism pouring in from various quarters.

“We have issued a showcause notice to the IOA on Wednesday and asked them to reply by December 30. Why should government not stop supporting the IOA? If the IOA is violating the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter, its own constitution and the National Sports Code, then the government will have to rethink our decision to support them.

“They have failed to conform to the basic principles of ethics and good governance, violated the directive of IOC and violated their constitution. We have asked them to give their reply by December 30,” the sports minister told reporters here.

“No one is above government when they take our support and assistance and represent the country. I believe that no independent body has the freedom to do whatever it wants and function in a wrongful manner.”

Goel lashed out IOA President N. Ramachandran for bringing in the issue which was originally not a part of the AGM’s agenda.

“I feel that IOA president Ramachandran is equally guilty. He brought this item despite it not being on the agenda and passed it.

“The job of the Indian Olympic Association is to work with basic principles of ethics and good governance. But they have decided to appoint two chargesheeted people as life presidents,” he said.

Pointing out that the IOA was de-recognised by the IOC for electing Chautala as president in the past, Goel said the duo should decline the offer of the national Olympic body in the interest of Indian sports.

“The IOC had withdrawn their recognition immediately and had said that till the time you don’t put in the constitution there will be no chargesheeted persons, who have cases against them, and till then IOA will be suspended and they suspended it,” he said.

“IOA got back its recognition when Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were forced to resign or were removed.”