The differences within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) are only harming sports and sportspersons and a solution must be found at the earliest, feels Cycling Federation of India (CFI) president Parminder Singh Dhindsa.
The IOA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Dec 4 due to “outside interference".
Talking exclusively to IANS Sunday, Dhindsa said: “This is a very serious matter. The IOA needs to get the government, the IOC onboard and get rid of their apprehensions regarding the elections. We should avoid confrontation with the IOC and try to get back into the Olympic movement at the earliest. The suspension has actually happened because of the internal differences in relation to the elections. They should sort this out. Our first interest is the proliferation of sports and that our sportsmen get maximum exposure and perform at the highest level. These differences are harming sports.”
Commenting further on the controversial issue, Dhindsa said that unless the Indian sports ministry, IOA and IOC don’t work it out together and know what each of them specifically want, the issues will continue.
“All these three bodies should sit and talk it out. We don’t know what exactly the IOC wants. We just got a letter from them and we do not know how to go about it, what all should be done and what changes they want in the election process. We also need to know what is the demand of the Government of India in relation with the sports code,” said Dhindsa here on the sidelines of the Tour de India which he flagged off.
A CFI source told IANS on condition of anonymity that outgoing secretary general of the IOA Randhir Singh used his influence to get the IOA suspended as he withdrew from the presidential candidature.
“Whatever we know as of now is that Randhir Singh used his influence in the IOC to get IOA suspended. People who run international sports don’t bother about what is happening but they should realise that no one is above sports,” said the source.