New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra rebuked vice president Sudhanshu Mittal’s allegations against him made to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with a message of his own to IOC President Thomas Bach. Batra pointed out in the letter that Mittal’s allegations of Batra’s ineligibility to stand for elections for president of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is based on a statute that was not in effect at the time of the election.

Mittal had stated in his letter to the IOC on Saturday that Batra was required by Article 7.2 of the FIH Statutes to resign from any post he holds at Hockey India within 30 days of his election to the post of President of the FIH.

“Please be aware that the above Article 7.2 is in the FIH Statutes with effect from 3 November 2018. My election to the post of the Indian Olympic Association was on 14 December 2017 and as such this Article was not applicable at the time of my IOA elections,” said Batra in a message to Bach on Tuesday.

“Further I was elected to the post of President of the International Hockey Federation on 12 November 2016. For both my election to the Indian Olympic Association in 2017 and the International Hockey Federation in 2016, the FIH Statues dated 12 November 2016 was applicable and no such Article appears in the FIH Statutes of 2016.

“To ensure there was no conflict of interest in my election as President, International Hockey Federation, I resigned from the post of President, Hockey India on 25 November 2016.”

However, Batra retained the position of life member of HI post his resignation and it is on this basis that the hockey national federation had forwarded his name as it’s entry.

“Again, it is disappointing that Mittal is raising the issue of my ineligibility to stand in the Indian Olympic Association elections 2.5 years after the elections were held on *14 December 2017.* Mittal himself stood in these elections and won the post of Vice President Indian Olympic. At the time Mittal had no objections with my election as President Indian Olympic Association,” said Batra

“As mentioned in Mittal’s email and reconfirmed above, I did resign from my Hockey India Office Bearers post in 2016, however retained my position as a Life Member of Hockey India.”

Batra also said in his text that he would be sending a formal reply as soon as he gets back to office.

“Please excuse the brief reply and having to send the same over WhatsApp, unfortunately as you might be aware that my family is currently combating a Covid-19 outbreak in my home where 7 Members are Covid-19 positive and as such I am in quarantine and unable to leave my residence and not scheduled to return to the office until after 20 June 2020.

“I do hope that the above clarifications will be taken on record in the meantime, and once I return to the office I will send a more detailed reply including the relevant documents and attachments to refute the allegations made by this malicious motivated individual,” he concluded.

–IANS

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