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I was offered a bribe by IOA Chief to support him in the elections: Hockey India President

The IOA war takes a nasty turn as legitimacy of Indian sports is set to be questioned yet again.

News 21 Jun 2015, 13:31 IST
Narinder Batra is the current Hockey India President

The war within India’s sporting hierarchy has taken a new turn, after Hockey India President Narinder Batra accused Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Chief N Ramachandran of offering him a bribe. Batra accused the Tamil Nadu based administrator of attempting to garner his support, during the 2014 elections.

He stated that, Ramachandran offered him a whopping Rs 1 crore every year till the latter’s tenure ended.

Batra, who is also the Vice President of the IOA told the Ethics Commission in a letter yesterday,” Mr. Ramachandran, you in January/February 2014 during the IOA elections in which you stood for the post of president, IOA, and got elected unopposed, had sent a gentleman to meet me in my office with a proposal that you will give Rs 1crore every year till you remain president and I should support your presidential candidature. The man was politely asked by me to leave."

The email was also addressed to N Ramachandran.

Batra, who has seen a mini Indian hockey revival of sorts under his tenure, has threatened to take the matter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), if not dealt with immediately.

He added, “I ask you that this complaint of mine be forwarded to the Ethics Commission of IOA and if it is not done, then I will approach the IOC Ethics Commission and the appropriate courts in India for proper justice and needful. I will produce the witness and evidence before the Ethics Commission."

Batra added that he has several witnesses to collaborate his version of the alleged corruption story. However, the Hockey India administrator wants IOA Life President, Vijay Kumar to take over at the helm of India’s Olympic governing body.

But, Kumar’ takeover would also be a breach of IOC rules as a President of a governing body cannot be older than 70. With the 2016 Rio Olympics, less than a year away, the war within the IOA is set to definitely reignite IOC’s doubt over India’s legitimacy as a sporting nation.

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