Indian Olympic Association secretary-general Randhir Singh, who is contesting for the post of president, said he reconsidered his earlier decision of not contesting the elections after persuasion from senior administrators and eminent sportspersons for the sake of Indian sport.
Randhir, who is in a straight fight against Abhay Singh Chautala for the IOA's top job in the November 25 elections, said the country had been subjected to ridicule during the Commonwealth Games because of the actions of a few people and that was why he decided to retire last year.
"I had made up my mind not to contest these last elections last year because of the mess created by numerous scams regarding 2010 Commonwealth Games. What should have been IOA's finest hour has. Unfortunately, because of the actions of a few, opened us up for ridicule," Randhir said.
"However, my senior colleagues in IOA and eminent sportspersons prevailed on me to reconsider my decision for the sake of Indian sport which is going through a turbulent phase. Faced with this I had no choice but to withdraw my decision. We cannot let go now, now that we have started to realise our potential," said Randhir, who is also an
International Olympic Committee member.
"I look forward to your support of my candidature for the post of the president of the IOA," he added.
Randhir said there are elements trying to divide Indian sport and it's time to stand united.
"The IOA has reason to celebrate after an unprecedented medal haul of six medals at the London Olympics. This is the time for Indian sports movement to take the next step. India is being globally recognised as an emerging sporting power. There are various pressures which we face within our own country. This is the time we stand united.
"As we lead up towards IOA elections it is sad to learn that there are elements who are unnecessarily dividing the Olympic movement. We should all rise over petty politics.
"Let us not get carried away by divisive tactics. We have a duty to the sportspersons of the country. Together we can change the negative perception that has been built in the minds of our countrymen," he added.
Image: Randhir Singh with former IOA president Suresh Kalmadi