x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

IOC wants Indian Olympic officials sued for misrepresentation

International Olympic Committee (IOC) asks its recognised Indian members to contemplate taking legal action against officials of the country's suspended Olympic association for misrepresenting the office.

MUMBAI // The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked its recognised Indian members to contemplate taking legal action against officials of the country's suspended Olympic association for misrepresenting the office.

The IOC refused to recognise the results of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections held on December 5 because of government interference that led to a tainted official being named as its new secretary general.

Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in custody last year following corruption charges and is on bail pending further investigations, was given the top IOA post despite the IOC deeming the elections to be "null and void".

Repports in the Indian media claimed that Mr Bhanot has been corresponding with national sports federations using the IOA letterhead, further riling the world governing body.

In a letter sent to Randhir Singh, the secretary general of the IOA during the previous regime, the IOC has threatened action against "illegitimate individuals" who claim to represent the suspended Indian body.

"These illegal actions, which obviously violate all IOC directives and decisions, are aggravating the situation of the suspended Indian Olympic Association," the IOC director general, Christophe De Kepper, wrote.

"All individuals involved (directly or by complicity) will be held responsible and the IOC will reserve the right to take any action against them.

"We request that you take all necessary measures and, if appropriate, any legal action at national level against these individuals in order to protect all assets and properties of the suspended Indian Olympic Association."