New Delhi, September 21
In an expected move, Anil Khanna has resigned as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Acting President. Khanna had become the interim president after the dismissal of Narinder Batra.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier this month warned the IOA of suspension if it does not hold elections by December. In the same letter, the international body said it does not recognize any acting/interim president and that AIO Secretary General Rajeev Mehta will serve as the main point of contact.
Khanna, in his letter to Mehta and the other members, said he was doing this as a step to bring greater harmony to the corps, which has been plagued by factionalism.
“…To bring about greater harmony within the whole membership of the IOA, and in order to achieve the above objective, I have decided to withdraw myself from the responsibilities and duties of the President who vested in me by the IOA Constitution and the Honorable High Court,” Khanna said in her letter.
Khanna, who has been associated with the International Tennis Federation for more than two decades, also criticized the IOC for failing to recognize Indian laws.
“While I respect the views of the IOC, at some point when the dust has settled, I would like to ask the IOC who will decide and interpret the ‘law of the land’ and NOC Constitution in a nation. Will that interpretation be t “Is it done by the IOC or will the same be done by the honorable courts of a nation?” he wrote.
No IOA post
Khanna, while speaking to The Tribune, made it clear that he will not contest any position in the IOA due to the age limit under the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011. Khanna turns 70 in July next year.
“I have no chance of standing for election because I will be 70 next July. I respect the Sports Code and that will prevent me from competing,” he said.
Moreover, after his resignation, Khanna may not be part of the Indian delegation that is due to meet the IOC’s top brass in Lausanne next week. IOC member Nita Ambani, Mehta, two vice-presidents and officials from the Ministry of Sports are due to meet to try to set a timetable for the elections.