IOA Infighting : Sudhanshu Mittal accuses Narinder Batra of ‘reinstating tainted Lalit Bhanot’

Continuing his campaign against Narinder Batra, IOA vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal has written to International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission chairman Ban Ki-moon, accusing the IOA President of “illegally” reinstating the “tainted” Lalit Bhanot into the national body.

Mittal alleged that immediately after being elected as IOA president, Batra reinstated Bhanot in various capacities despite several cases of corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, pending against him in court.

“Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, immediately after getting elected as President of the Indian Olympic Association on 14.12.2017, reinstated a person against whom charges are framed in court. Dr. Lalit Bhanot was appointed Chairman and member of key Committees.

“Till 22.05.2020, Dr. Bhanot was also a member of the IOA Legal Committee,” Mittal wrote in his letter to Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary general.

“A complaint regarding the illegal appointment of Dr Lalit Bhanot was mailed to the IOA Ethics Commission, of which I am a member, and the IOC Ethics Commission on 08.05.2020.”

The other portfolios which Bhanot holds in IOA are Preparation Committee (chairman), Sports Code Commission (chairman), National Games Format Review Committee (chairman), Co-ordination Commission (member), Sports Development Commission (member) and Core Committee (member).

Currently engaged in a bitter feud with Batra, Mittal had earlier demanded an IOC ethics commission inquiry into alleged irregularities in Batra’s election as IOA president in 2017, which the world body had rejected last week.

The rejection of his complaint forced Mittal to write to the IOC Ethics Commission once again on Tuesday and he “strongly denunciated” the quick dismissal.

“A rushed and tweaked response by a staff without referring the complaint to the Ethics Commission, when the concerned is a member of the International Olympic Committee by virtue of his role in a National Olympic Committee, that is due to host the Session of the International Olympic Committee, has conflict of interest marred all over it,” Mittal wrote in his fresh letter.