Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra has been cleared by the respective world bodies of indulging in any wrongdoings during his election. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic May Have Set Back Growth of Women's Cricket by Two Years: Mithali Raj
IOA vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal had alleged Batra of breaching rules during his election as FIH president in 2016 and IOA president in 2017. He had demanded an ethics commission enquiry against the Indian body chief. Also Read - Sports Ministry Moves Delhi High Court Seeking Restoration of Provisional Recognition to 57 NSFs
However, on Friday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and FIH responded to Mittal’s allegations rejecting any irregularities against the incumbent. Also Read - IOA Infighting Should End For The Good of Indian Sports: Rajeev Mehta
“It is noted that the internal issues to which you refer were addressed and resolved prior to the elections by the NOC General Assembly, which is the NOC’s supreme decision-making body and the results of the NOC’s elections were not challenged,” said IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Paquerette Girard Zappelli in a letter to Mittal.
“As the only Olympian elected to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as its Vice President, it pains me to see such letters of absolutely baseless allegations being circulated to the members of the IOC,” he wrote.
“In view of this, the IOC has no reason to pursue the matter further,” he added.
The response has come after Mittal’s another email in which he claims to have evidence of “fraud, falsehood, wrongdoing, and misdeeds” by Batra.
FIH’s independent Integrity Unit Chairman Wayne Snell also cleared Batra of any misconduct.
“In compliance with the applicable FIH procedure, this complaint was forwarded to the independent FIH Integrity Unit (FIU), which today decided that it will not be taking any action regarding FIH President Dr Batra in relation to this matter on the basis that the matter is not sustained,” the FIH stated.
“Indeed, according to the FIH Statutes at the time, there was no requirement for Dr Batra to change his relationship with Hockey India after his election as FIH President in November 2016. He therefore committed no breach of the procedure or the FIH Statutes,” it added.
Another IOA vice-president Adille Sumariwalla defended Batra dismissing Mittal’s claims “baseless allegations”.
“As the only Olympian elected to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as its Vice President, it pains me to see such letters of absolutely baseless allegations being circulated to the members of the IOC,” he wrote to IOC president Thomas Bach in a letter.
“…members such as Mr. Mittal, are using such tactics to promote themselves as Presidential candidates within the IOA membership, where they have no base or support. Their only aim is to bring disrepute to a honest and hardworking President, Dr Batra,” he said.
“I would like to assure the President and all members of the IOC, that we the Members of the IOA have full faith and confidence in our President Dr. Narendra Dhruv Batra, whom we respect greatly and who has done yeoman service for the promotion of athletes…,” he added.