CHANDIGARH: With Randhir Singh withdrawing from the contest for the post of the president of the Indian Olympic Association stage is set for the controversial Haryana politician Abhay Chautala to become the IOA president after the elections scheduled to be held on December 5.
However, the elections may not be recognised by the International Olympic Committee since these were not being held according to its guidelines.
This would be the worst tragedy for the Indian sports as a distinguished and qualified sports administrator Randhir Singh had to give up the race against a controversial politician Abhay Chautala, charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and that too without any sports background.
The sports future of the country and its Olympic prospects can well be foreseen with a person like Abhay Chautala being at the helm of affairs. His record happens to be no better than that of his predecessor Suresh Kalmadi, who spent good nine months in jail for corruption charges in regard to preparation for the Commonwealth Games. He has now turned out to be Abhay Chautala’s mentor, although in the past Abhay wanted to contest against him as well.
This can also be judged from the fact that Abhay Chautala’s team in IOA will include Lalit Bhanot and Harish Kumar. Like Kalmadi, both have spent good time in jail for corruption charges. Lalit Bhanot will be his secretary general when Abhay Chautala takes over as the president after the December 5 elections.
Although Randhir Singh has left the race but he has raised some important issues which will need to be addressed and which may go a long way in improving the sports administration across the country. IOA is the apex sports administration governing body in the country.
Randhir Singh has been a six time Olympic trap shooter and an Asian Games gold medallist. He has served as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association for last 24 years as also the secretary general of the Olympic Council of Asia, besides being a member of the prestigious and all powerful International Olympic Committee.
Compared to that Abhay Chautala besides his corruption charges apart, has virtually no sports background. Currently he is the Chairman of the Boxing Federation of India, without ever having been into the boxing ring. Moreover, he is not qualified enough (he cannot speak English either) to be able to represent the country in the highest international sports meets.
Abhay Chautala, alongwith his elder brother Ajay Chautala, is currently facing trial in the disproportionate assets case as the CBI has already filed a charge-sheet against them. The CBI, in its charge sheet filed on February 2, 2010, charged him of having assets worth Rs. 8 crore, and another Rs. 125 crore in the names of the Chaudhary Devi Lal Memorial Trust and other multiple societies.