Kalmadi, Chautala appointment fiasco: Sports Ministry lifts IOA suspension

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New Delhi : The Sports Ministry revoked the suspension of recognition accorded to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after the national sports body revoked its earlier decision to appoint former chiefs Abhay Singh Chautala and Suresh Kalmadi as honorary life presidents.

The IOA's Annual General Meeting on December 27 last year had reportedly passed a resolution to honour the controversial duo with the post of honorary life president.

The move invited severe criticism from various quarters with the government issuing show-cause notice before suspending the deemed recognition of the national Olympic body.

Following the suspension, the IOA had ceased 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 had also been stopped.

However, in a letter to the Ministry of Sports dated January 9, IOA President N. Ramachandran had claimed that the national Olympic body has not passed any resolution to honour the controversial duo.

Ramachandran had pointed out that members could make proposals in a meeting but if it did not meet the provisions of the IOA constitution, it could not be assumed that the proposal had been approved and passed in the meeting. 

"(The) government has decided to revoke the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA with immediate effect in the light of the corrective action taken by them in reversing its earlier decision making Abhay Singh Chautala and Suresh Kalmadi life presidents of IOA," the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

"Since IOA has admitted the faux pas committed and regretted the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to all concerned, it is expected of IOA that it will uphold the highest standard of probity and ethics in its functioning in future.

"In the light of the above developments and keeping in view the larger interest of promotion and development of sports in the country, the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has revoked the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA, imposed on 30.12.2016, with immediate effect," the statement added.

Kalmadi served as IOA President from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed in April 2014 for 10 months for involvement in a corruption scandal that cast a shadow over the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games -- he was later released on bail.

Chautala is a former chief of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) and his term at the helm of the IOA was full of controversy. 

The Haryana politician served as IOA President from December 2012 to February 2014 when the body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for fielding charge-sheeted candidates in its elections. 

The IOC also annulled Chautala's election for a second term as IOA chief. He also faced corruption charges.

Chautala is currently in jail over corruption in recruitment of teachers for government schools in Haryana.