Claiming that Indian Olympic Association chief Abhay Singh Chautala was ineligible to attend the August 25 Special General Body Meeting in Delhi, Clean Sports India president Ashwini Nachappa has asked the International Olympic Committee not to heed to the decisions taken by "few corrupt officials and politicians" in that conclave.
Nachappa, a former Olympic sprinter, shot off a letter to the IOC pointing out that Chautala attended the IOA Special General Body meeting as a representative of the Athletics Federation of India, an NSF with which he has no connection at all.
The IOA's Special General Body Meeting held on Sunday had sought to dilute the IOC's directive to bar chargesheeted persons from contesting elections by proposing to apply the sanction to only those who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years. They argued that under Indian law, chargesheeted persons can stand for even Parliamentary elections.
"I want to point out the most glaring irregularity of this 25th August General Meeting of IOA. Mr Abhay Singh Chautala proclaiming to be President of IOA has attended the meeting signing as the representative of Athletic Federations of India," Nachappa said, in the letter addressed to IOC's NOC Relations Director Jerome Poivey, with the attendance sheet of the IOA GBM attached with it.
"I have been an athlete since age of 8 yrs, represented my country at Asian Games, World Championships and the Olympic Games, but I have never seen or heard of Mr Chautala being a representative of AFI. As we all know he cannot be member of IOA from Boxing Federation of India, which is suspended by its international body, he simply chose to become an official of AFI. How convenient is that?" she asked.
"The most important leader of IOA's in its meeting on 25th August is an intruder and not a member of General Body of IOA. One can well imagine how many ineligible people might have sat in the meeting to decide on the future of Indian sports in that all-important meeting. All these are questionable facts before the Court of Law."
Nachappa also asked the IOC not to take any hasty decision on the amendments made by the IOA GBM according to which only convicted persons for a jail term of more than two years would not be allowed to contest IOA elections.
"The recent developments of the IOA and its rigid stand to disallow clean non corrupt people to run the affairs of the Olympic movement in India has been a 'great disappointment but not surprising' as in the words of our lone Olympic gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra.
"While we understand that the IOC would like to approve the present constitution as amended on 25th at General body meeting of IOA in the best interest of sportspersons of India, I sincerely urge you not to hasten this process which in turn would be detrimental to the very process of bringing out a cleaner, non corrupt and accountable sports body," she said in the letter with copies marked for Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.
"Hence as an Olympian and former athlete request you to finalize your report after taking serious view on the IOA general body meeting which was held on 25th. I will leave the contents of the report to your best judgement.
"Our only hope for a cleaner sports environment rests in the hands of IOC and therefore please carefully evaluate your judgement based on views of all the stakeholders of the Olympic movement and let it not rest solely in the hands of a few corrupt officials and politicians. The time for Change is NOW or NEVER. IOC must be for the sports persons of India and not for the corrupt officials."
Image: Abhay Singh Chautala