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Sports Ministry suspends IOA’s recognition

Sports Ministry on Friday suspended the deemed recognition of the national Olympic body.

IANS | New Delhi |

Dissatisfied with the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) response to the show cause notice for appointing the scam-tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents, the Sports Ministry on Friday suspended the deemed recognition of the national Olympic body.

Following the suspension, the IOA will cease to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC). 

All government assistance, financial or otherwise, to the IOA will also be stopped.

"The government has suspended the deemed recognition, granted by it to the IOA until the IOA reverses its decision to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as Life Presidents," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry issued a show cause notice to the IOA on Wednesday after the general body meeting of the sports body passed a resolution on Tuesday to appoint its former presidents Kalmadi and Chautala — both of whom have been charge-sheeted — as life presidents. 

"The IOA was required to reply to the show cause notice by 5 p.m. on Friday. In their response, IOA today sought extension of time up to January 15 for replying to the show cause notice, stating that President, IOA was out of the country and they needed to consult him.

"The government is not satisfied with the response of IOA since they have not given any substantive reply especially with regard to the non-eligibility of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala. Government considers the reply of IOA only as a ploy to buy time," the statement read.

"This is a serious violation of the norms of good governance by IOA which is the mother sports body and corrective action needs to be taken immediately as it is a matter of national prestige and public sentiments.

"Although the Government has utmost respect for the Olympic Charter and is committed to protecting the autonomy of sports, it cannot remain a mute spectator to blatant violation of principles of ethic and good governance by IOA, thereby putting the image and prestige of the country at stake," it added.

"Hence, it has been decided to suspend deemed recognition granted by the government to IOA till necessary corrective measure is taken by IOA."