OCA takes exception to Sports Ministry’s remarks on Randhir Singh

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has taken serious exception to the Sports Ministry questioning the credibility of its secretary general Randhir Singh, saying that such personal attacks are not acceptable.

The sports i had charged Randhir Singh, who is also the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), of influencing the OCA and International Olympic Committee (IOC) taking advantage of his dual role on the issue of tenure and age limit of the office-bearers of sports bodies.

‘I am extremely dismayed at contents of the above referred letter. Mr. Randhir Singh is the secretary general of OCA for last two decades and his knowledge, wisdom and commitment to the Olympic Movement has been exemplary,’ Husain Al-Musallam, OCA director general, said in his reply to the sports minister M.S. Gill Thursday.

‘He (Randhir Singh) has always strived to maintain a fine balance between the various arms of the Olympic Movement and has acted as a bridge between the NOCs of Asia, OCA and international sporting organisations. Therefore any such attack on him personally will not be accepted and entertained by the OCA.’

Reiterating its stand on the need to respect the autonomy of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the OCA said any ‘interference in the autonomy or independent functioning of the NOC or National Sports Federations will not be accepted by the OCA and may result in strict penalties as per the OCA constitution.’

‘The OCA has always advocated that the autonomy of the NOC as well as the NSFs is of prime importance. However, we have always maintained that a strong and harmonious relationship should be maintained with the governmental organisations in order to carry out sports development work in the respective countries.

‘I would, therefore, strongly recommend that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should take all the local sports organisations into confidence and work as one team for the development of sports,’ the OCA director general said.