IOA Infighting : Narinder Batra writes to IOC President, ‘I have not flouted any rule’

The ugly is getting uglier. The fight between Indian Olympic Association (IOA) mandarins is getting uglier by the day. The day after the infighting reached the headquarters of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the letter was also sent to FIH Headquarters in Lausanne – the IOA President Narinder Dhruv Batra has declared to IOC that he is completely innocent and has not flouted any rule.
IOA Vice President’s allegations against Batra

IOA vice president Sudhanshu Mittal, in a letter to the International Hockey Federation, alleged that “a major cover-up” was done to allow Batra contest election for the position. Mittal said Batra’s eligibility was “falsified” twice and it even impacted his position as FIH president in 2017.

Excerpts of Email written by Dr. Narinder Batra to IOC President Thomas Bach

Dear Dr. Bach

Dear IOC Executive Board and IOC Members,

Firstly I hope you and your families are all in good health and are staying safe during these unprecedented times.

I am sending this message today in reference to the email of Mr. Sudhanshu Mittal, Vice President Indian Olympic Association dated Saturday 6 June 2020 at 4.47 P.M. Although the email of Mr. Mittal is self motivated and clearly his intent is to malign my reputation ahead of the Indian Olympic Association elections scheduled for 2021, I felt that it was necessary to briefly address the misleading comments of Mr. Mittal in his above mentioned email to you all on 6 June 2020.

I would personally like to assure you that I have at no stage flouted any of the Rules and Regulations of the Indian Olympic Association or the International Hockey Federation in my election as President of the Indian Olympic Association which was held on 14 December 2017. It is disappointing that Mr. Mittal, who himself was elected as Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association in the same elections, is now trying to damage my image & reputation as a means to project himself as he intends to stand as a candidate for the post of President in the 2021 Indian Olympic Association elections.

I have addressed the points raised by Mr Mittal in his email dated Saturday 6 June 2020 at 4.47 P.M as below:–

1. Mr. Mittal refers to Article 7.2 of the FIH Statutes

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.

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.

2. Mr. Mittal refers to Article 10.3 of the IOA Constitution

Again, it is disappointing that Mr. 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 2016. Mr. Mittal himself stood in these elections and won the post of Vice President Indian Olympic. At the time Mr. Mittal had no objections with my election as President Indian Olympic Assocation.

As mentioned in Mr. 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.

An almost similar objection was raised on 4 December 2017 to the Indian Olympic Association Election Commission by Mrs. Praveen Mahajan, President of the All India Tennis Association regarding my ineligibility for inclusion in the Electoral College List for the Indian Olympic Association elections scheduled for 14 December 2017. The complaint was withdrawn by Mrs. Mahajan and the Election Commission, which comprised of three retired Hon’ble High Court Judges unanimously advised that there was no substance to the complaint.

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.

Warm Regards
Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra
Member IOC
President FIH
President Indian Olympic Association.
9 May, 2020.