IOA officials meet Sports Min to discuss code issue

New Delhi: Rankled by the renewed threat of suspension by the International Olympic Committee, top IOA officials on Friday had a meeting with Sports Minister Jitendra Singh in a bid to find a solution to the code dispute surrounding the upcoming election.

A nine-member delegation, led by IOA Acting President V K Malhotra, met the minister in his chamber and the nearly two-hour-long meeting was described as "constructive and fruitful" by the officials.

Jitendra Singh said the code to be followed in the December 5 election was largely a dispute between the IOC and IOA and the government was just trying to play a helping hand.

"The government is just providing a helping hand to the IOA to resolve the matter. The whole mess is between the IOA and the IOC and Sports Ministry or the government is not a part of it", Singh said.

"The Sports Code is exactly the same as the IOC Charter. It is in the same terms as our code regarding age, term or the clean practices. So there is no problem there."

"It is an internal matter between the IOA and IOC, we are willing to help IOA and we are ready to sit with IOC to discuss any matter. If the IOC comes here, we will sit down and resolve the issue", the Minister said.

Singh said the Government has written a letter to the IOC but no reply had come from the International sports body.

"The government has already written a letter to the IOC inviting them to come here and have a meeting. Sadly, we have not got any reply from them. Anyway, the IOA has all our support", Singh said.

The Minister advised that it would be best if the IOA were to voluntarily accept the Sports Code and amend their constitution accordingly, thus meeting the objections of the IOC as well as obeying the directions of the Delhi High Court.

Apart from Malhotra, IOA President-elect Abhay Singh Chautala, Hockey India General Secretary Narinder Batra, eminent lawyer and President of Jharkhand Olympic Association, R K Anand and Anurag Thakur, president of Himachal Olympic Association were some of the other members of the delegation.