Mumbai: Hitting out at Indian Olympic Association president N Ramachandran for honouring scam-tainted duo Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents at its AGM two days ago, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Thursday said the IOA chief was equally responsible for taking up the item which was not on agenda of the meeting.
“I feel that IOA president Ramachandran is equally guilty. He brought this item (into the meeting) despite it not being on the agenda and passed it,” Goel told reporters after inaugurating the 10th national vanvasi archery competition at the RCF ground in Chembur here.
“Indian Olympic Association’s job is to work with basic principles of ethics and good governance, but they have made two persons – Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala who are charge-sheeted – as life presidents,” said the minister.
Goel informed that the sports ministry has now issued a showcause notice to the IOA and given it time till Friday to respond.
“Our ministry has issued showcause notice to them yesterday and asked IOA to file their reply by December 30. Why should not the support to IOA, which the government is providing, be stopped. If you are violating the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) charter, its (IOA’s) own constitution and the National Sports Code to make these appointments, then government will have to think,” he said.
“They have failed to conform to the basic principles of ethics and good governance, violated the directive of IOC and violated their constitution. We have asked them to give their reply by December 30,” he said.
“The IOA and other National Sports Federations come under the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court because they perform state-like subjects. The appointments made by IOA are wrong. We have told them (Chautala and Kalmadi) to give their resignations or they will be immediately removed. As sports minister, it is my responsibility to stop wrong things happening in IOA,” he further said.
Kalmadi has already decided not to accept the honour. Goel pointed out that in the past, the IOA got de-recognised by IOC for electing Chautala as its president.
“IOC had immediately taken back the recognition. And IOC had said that till the time you don’t put in the constitution there will be no charge-sheeted persons, who have cases against them, and till then IOA will be suspended and they suspended it,” he said.
“IOA got back its recognition when Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were forced to resign or were removed,” he said.
“No one is above government when they take the government’s support, assistance and represent the country. I believe that no independent body has the freedom to do whatever it wants and function in a wrongful manner.
“They have to decide whether they have come for the promotion of sports or for their own,” Goel said, adding “I believe they will listen and will resign.”