Senior IOA officials trying to persuade a miffed Malhotra

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Vijay Kumar Malhotra Thursday decided not to attend the May 15 meeting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) convened in Lausanne, saying that the world body has now decided to deal with the democratically elected IOA.

Stung by Malhotra’ sudden decision, senior IOA members are out to persuade their acting chief to relent, but he is refusing to budge.

What irked Malhotra, who is recognised as the IOA president, is that the IOC accepted Narinder Batra and R.K.Anand, whose names were proposed by the Abhay Singh Chautala-led unrecognised IOA, which has been suspended by the IOC in December.

“I have informed the IOC that by inviting Batra and Anand, the IOC has recognised a democratically elected IOA under the leadership of Mr. Chautala. There is no point in our attending the meeting,” Malhotra told IANS.

In a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, Malhotra said now that the IOC decided to deal with the democratically elected IOA, which is headed by Abhay Singh Chautala, he was only too happy to disassociate with the Lausanne exercise.

“As the IOC has changed the script for the Lausanne meeting, I want to inform you that I will not be attending the meeting and also here by withdraw the letter I sent to you on May 3, 2013 naming my delegation,” Malhotra said in the letter.

Malhotra was surprised how IOC added two new names without consculting him.

“It was IOC which invited me along with a small delegation for the meeting at Lausanne for discussion to end the deadlock. But it is intriguing that IOC has on its own added couple of names in the delegation recommended by the newly elected but suspended IOA.

“That means that that IOC has changed its stand and recognised the office bearers of the IOA, which it had suspended, by directly dealing with them. I am happy with this development and urge the IOC to withdraw all the communications, letters it has written against the IOA since December 5th, 2012. I also urge the IOC to withdraw its directive to the IFs to see that NSFs of India do not deal with the suspended IOA,” he said in the letter.

Acting IOA secretary general Randhir Singh also decided not to go to Lausanne, though he has not given any reason. All he would say was that he had written a separate letter to Rogge, explaining his position.

Malhotra was to lead the four-member delegation for the joint meeting, also to be attended by sports ministry officials. He had named Tarlochan Singh, S Raghunathan and N.Ramachandran as the other members of the delegation.

The IOA delegation will now have six members while India’s sports ministry will be represented by Minister of State Jitendra Singh, secretary Pradeep Kumar Deb, Anil Kumar Singh (officer on special duty to minister), India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and Olympian sailor Malav Shroff.

Curiously, Ramachandran, Tarlochan Singh and Raghunathan are also in the panel named by the Chautala-led IOA, which was suspended by the IOC finding fault with its election process. The other members of this panel were Batra, Anand and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adil Sumariwala.

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