India sports ministry targets athletics

Latest attempt to clean up administration sees athletics federation instructed to conduct new elections for key posts.
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2012 15:01
The ministry’s involvement follows the suspension of the national boxing and archery federations over election malpractices [GALLO/GETTY]

India's sports ministry on Tuesday asked the country's athletics federation to hold fresh elections or face suspension, in the latest crackdown to clean up sports administration.

The ministry set aside the election of president, secretary and treasurer in the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) held in April this year and ordered polls to be held within 60 days or by February 28.

The announcement came after the ministry last week suspended the national boxing and archery federations over election malpractices and the International Olympic Committee suspended India's membership over unethical practices.

Code violations

According to the ministry, the clause in the athletics federation's constitution that only a member of its executive committee could seek election as an office-bearer was "restrictive and violated the government's sports code".

"The AFI has been directed to amend its constitution and hold elections to the above three posts," the ministry said in a statement.

"They have been advised that if the above action is not carried out within the period of 60 days, or 28 February 2013, whichever is earlier, the recognition to AFI shall stand withdrawn without any further notice."

Former sprinter Adille Sumariwalla was elected president of the AFI in April, while Cuddi Kotta Valson became secretary and Satya Narayan the treasurer.

All three were elected unanimously.

Previous office-bearers of the AFI include Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot, both of whom are on bail after being jailed last year over corruption charges during at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Kalmadi was president and Bhanot the secretary-general of the Games organising committee.


Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.

Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.