Batra not to contest for any IOA post

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra Friday stepped down as the coordinator between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the government in the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and said he is not in the running for any IOA post.

Batra was a part of the delegation that went to Lausanne for a meeting with the IOC and the sports ministry in May to work out a roadmap for India's return to the Olympic fold.

Batra blasted India's IOC member Randhir Singh and Jharkhand Olympic Association president R.K. Anand and blamed them for conspiring against him.

"I want to withdraw myself from all future interactions with the government and the IOC," Batra wrote in a letter to banned IOA president Abhay Singh Chautala and secretary general Lalit Bhanot.

"I also wish to further inform you that I am not a candidate for any post in IOA and do not wish to contest elections for any posts in IOA," he added.

"Of late, Mr. R.K. Anand and a few more persons have started a maligning tirade against me for reasons best known to them. They are saying that I am mixed up with the government of India and IOC and I am working in tandem with the government and IOC to get a ban imposed on a few people in IOA and then stand in elections for secretary general of IOA.

"I know Mr. R.K. Anand is doing this on brief given to him by Mr. Randhir Singh to stop IOA elections a per condition for IOC recognition and to create a divide within IOA and scuttle the meetings scheduled for 25 August 2013, and 29 September 2013.

"Because if the elections take place then the IOC membership of Mr. Randhir Singh is finished and his dream of retiring as IOC member at the age of 70 years and then becoming life member of IOC gets shattered, and if IOA elections do not take place and India remain suspended by IOA, then he remains secretary general in the eyes of IOC and his wish to continue as IOC member gets fulfilled," Batra stated in the letter.

Batra also criticised former IOA president V.K. Malhotra and said he was being influenced by Randhir Singh.

"I was aware that since the time I stopped going to the residence of Mr V K Malhotra for meetings, because of his habits of showering sarcastic comments and insults, he started saying wrong things about me to whoever went to meet him from IOA. I was aware that he was reluctantly doing all this on insistence of Mr. Randhir Singh.

"Mr. Randhir Singh recently spent 15 days in June/July 2013 shuttling between London and Lausanne and meeting most of the IOC members to get conditions put in Ethics Code to harm the interest of few persons within IOA and also get the scheduled IOA meetings delayed and both of you (Chautala and Bhanot) are aware of it," he wrote.

Batra also said that he was committed to the upcoming meetings.

"The venues blocked for both the meetings for 25 August and 29 September by me, will stand blocked for the meeting as committed by me and be rest assured there will be no backing out on the commitments done by me.

"I confirm and assure you of my unconditional support and respect for both of you and you will always find me standing behind you whenever you require my services."

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