IOA shouldn’t allow chargesheeted persons to contest elections, says Bindra

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Shooting star: Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra Photo: Getty Images

New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI): Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra lashed out at IOA (Indian Olympic Association) officials for refusing to accept International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) directive to bar chargesheeted persons from contesting elections and asked the world body to stick to its earlier stand.

The IOA’s Special General Body Meeting on Sunday had sought to dilute the chargesheet clause by proposing to apply the sanction to only those who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years. They had argued that under Indian law, chargesheeted persons can stand even for Parliamentary elections.

Bindra, who won an individual gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, asked the IOC to insist on the chargesheet clause it had included in the revised draft of the IOA sent on 15 August for the sake of Indian sports and its athletes. “If they (IOA officials) had thought of Indian sports and its athletes, they they would have accepted the IOC’s conditions so that India can get back into the Olympic fold. But they will not do that. I asked the IOC not to back out and stick to their stand. It’s very important for the development of Indian sports and for athletes,” Bindra said.

“IOC will have to understand that more than 50 per cent of the IOA members who attended the Special GBM have charges framed against them in a court,” he told ‘CNN-IBN’.

Asked about Indian athletes not being able to participate under the country’s flag because of suspension by the IOC, Bindra said, “For an athlete, the greatest pride is to stand on the podium in a multi-sporting event and other international competitions with the National Flag being hoisted and the National Anthem sung. Indian athletes have been deprived of this due to a few people in the IOA. It’s an extremely sad and hurtful situation for an athlete.”

On the issue of National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) being asked to leave Sunday’s GBM on the ground that a court had ruled the shooting body’s elections illegal, Bindra said, “I am extremely sad that my federation has been thrown out for articulating important points. It’s in poor taste. NRAI is the federation which has given maximum individual Olympic medals to the country.”

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