Who will clean up Indian sports?
If, in the words of Price-Waterhouse-Cooper’s sports analysts, India is “a significant underperformer”, then the blame is almost certainly on sports administrators. The sleaze in sports administration caused a public uproar during the Delhi Commonwealth games. We expected heads to roll, instead we read of parties inside a jail with samosas and chocolate cake being served to Suresh Kalmadi, the jailed-without-charge president of IOA. Now that this Joker and his Penguin, Lalit Bhanot, are out and causing mayhem again, who do we look to for a clean up?
Since no one in positions of power seems to worry about Indian sports, tough love is now coming from international sports fora. First the Olympics association banned the IOA, and now, as NDTV reports, the boxing association has followed suit:
The [Indian Amateur Boxing Federation] IABF was formerly led by Abhay Singh Chautala, who was also elected as the president of the Indian Olympic Association. The current president of the Indian federation is Abhishek Motaria, who was elected on September 23. Chautala was then nominated the chairman of the national body.
In its statement from Lausanne in Switzerland, the AIBA said: “Further to the International Olympic Committee’s suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today, 6 December 2012, to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF). This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF’s election. AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA President, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election.”
With the Asian Boxing Championship and the World Championships in Kazakhstan scheduled next year, the provisional ban now makes the future of Indian boxers participating in these events under the country’s flag uncertain.
The world body took the decision at a meeting at Lausanne, in Switzerland two days after the IOC suspended the IOA, of whom Chautala, former president of IABF, was elected as president on Wednesday.
Zee News digs deeper:
“AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA President, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election,” it added.
During the September elections, outgoing President Abhay Singh Chautala, who was elected IOA President despite IOC’s suspension, was retained in the body as nominated Chairman of the body.
The development now also puts a question mark over Chautala’s election as IOA President since he came into the fray as an IABF representative. Interestingly, his brother-in-law and BJP MLA from Rajasthan, Abhishek Matoria, was elected as the new IABF President.
Tough on Indian sportspeople, but perhaps the only way to clean up Indian sports? Could be, if the ministry sits up and does the job it was intended to do. Unfortunately, since so many politicians are involved in sports administration, my guess, probably like yours, is that the government will just continue to let things slide, and the sports administrators will heap blame on these dark knights from Lausanne. After all, even in the darling of Indian sports, crickets, sleaze has not yet been cleaned up.