New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS): Sports Minister Jitendra Singh Wednesday said the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) should follow the directives of International Olympic Committee (IOC), which wants the national body to have office bearers free from a criminal record.
"Apart from the age and tenure restrictions imposed by the Sports Code, the Government of India also supports the efforts of the IOC to strengthen ethical standards in the IOA, through a clause which stipulates that persons standing for elections as office bearers of the IOA are free from criminal charges. The clause is in line with what the government has itself proposed in the Draft Sports Bill 2013," said Jitendra Singh in a statement.
Last week, the IOC had sent the revised draft of the IOA constitution which contained that chargesheeted individuals will not be allowed to contest IOA elections. The IOA replied by saying that Indian law does not bar chargesheeted from seeking power in the country's top sporting body.
The minister hoped that country's suspension from Olympic movement will be lifted at the earliest.
"The Government of India has been urging the IOC and the IOA to sort out their differences through negotiations so that the suspension of IOA by IOC may be revoked. The government welcomes the efforts to end the impasse between the parties involved.
"The government hopes that a solution to the impasse between the IOC and the IOA will be found during the General Body Meeting of the IOA, which is to be held on August 25," he added.