India sports ministry targets athletics

Latest attempt to clean up administration sees athletics federation instructed to conduct new elections for key posts.

    India sports ministry targets athletics
    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carried out within the period of 60 days, or 28 February 2013, whichever is earlier, the recognition to AFI shall stand withdrawn without any further notice."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.

    SOURCE: AFP


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