Two days after the International Olympic Committee derecognized the Indian Olympic Association, it was the turn of the country's sports ministry to turn the screws on Indian federations.
On Friday, it derecognized the boxing and archery associations.Sports minister Jitendra Singh said while the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation's election, held in September, was "flawed and faulty" and in "violation of the procedure laid down in the Sports Code", the procedure adopted in the election of the Archery Association of India were in conformity with the procedures laid down in the Sports Code and common practice, but the age and tenure restrictions prescribed in it were violated.
Ace Indian archer Dola Banerjee told Rediff.com that the biggest loss in this episode will be that of players.
"I guess players will get hit the most. There has really not been much of support from the government anyway in improving sponsorship, and now this," lamented Dola.
"We have already started our preparations for the next Olympics and were looking forward to national camps. But it's disappointing to see that though this year has been the most fruitful for us, these suspensions are happening," she added.
Archer Mangal Singh Champia too echoed her sentiments.
"This is the time that we should have got maximum support from the government.
"Players' future is in doubt as to whether we will be able to participate in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and all," he said.
"It's important that the archery association and sports ministry sit together and sort out the issue. Because the tug-of-war that's been happening, the progress of sport in the country will be hampered, he added.
"The president-elect of the Archery Association of India has served for more than three consecutive terms in the past and is also above the age of 70 years," said Jitender.
"The high court, in its Civil Writ Petition No.195/2010 dated 15.02.2012 and 17.09.2012, had directed that the government shall not grant recognition to the Archery Association of India unless they hold elections as per the Sports Code. In view of the directions of the high court, the government has no option but to withdraw the recognition of the Archery Association of India," the minister added.
During the October elections, BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra was re-elected president of the AAI for a 10th term, which means he will retain the position for an unprecedented 40th year, a gross violation of the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code.
The sports minister has also asked the AAI to amend its constitution.