Narinder Batra has rejected the claims that his election as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president is illegal after one of his deputies raised questions over his eligibility for the top job. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Set Back Growth of Women's Cricket by Two Years: Mithali Raj
In a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, Batra, who also heads the International Hockey Federation (FIH), denied flouting any rules. Also Read - Sports Ministry Moves Delhi High Court Seeking Restoration of Provisional Recognition to 57 NSFs
“I would personally like to assure you that I have at no stage flouted any of the Rules and Regulations of the Indian Olympic Association or the International Hockey Federation in my election as President of the Indian Olympic Association which was held on 14 December 2017,” Batra wrote. Also Read - IOA Infighting Should End For The Good of Indian Sports: Rajeev Mehta
Sudhanshu Mittal, IOA vice-president, has claimed of a “a major cover up” to pave the way for Batra’s election as IOA president.
He claims that as per the 2013 constitution of IOA, approved by the global body, the presidential candidate should be a member of the preceding executive council a criteria Batra didn’t fulfil.
However, he alleges that the interpretation of the constitution was changed from membership of last executive council to two preceding councils during a Special General Body Meeting on November 29, 2017.
Batra, on his part, claims that the claims have been made by Mittal to damage his reputation and project himself as a presidential candidate for 2021 IOA elections.
“It is disappointing that Mr Mittal, who himself was elected as Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association in the same elections, is now trying to damage my image and reputation as a means to project himself as he intends to stand as a candidate for the post of President in the 2021 Indian Olympic Association elections,” he wrote.
“…the e-mail of Mr Mittal is self motivated and clearly his intent is to malign my reputation ahead of the Indian Olympic Association elections scheduled for 2021.
“…the above Article 7.2 is in the FIH Statutes with effect from 3 November 2018. My election to the post of the Indian Olympic Association was on 14 December 2017 and as such this Article was not applicable at the time of my IOA elections,” he added.
Batra said to avoid conflict of interest in his election as FIH president, he “resigned from the post of President, Hockey India on 25 November 2016.”