News / Asia

India Defies Olympic Committee, Elects Graft-Tainted Official

Lalit Bhanot, who was recently elected as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), casts his ballot for the election of Vice President, Joint Secretary and Executive Council members of IOA in New Delhi, India, December 5, 2012.
Lalit Bhanot, who was recently elected as the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), casts his ballot for the election of Vice President, Joint Secretary and Executive Council members of IOA in New Delhi, India, December 5, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India's Olympic Association has elected a new leader whose reputation has been tainted by allegations of corruption.  The appointment was made despite the sports body's suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which disallowed the vote. India's suspension from the Olympics has prompted widespread calls for cleaning up sports governance in the country.  

The IOC suspended India after it warned the Indian Olympic Association against allowing candidates facing corruption charges to contest elections.  

But the defiant Indian sporting body pressed ahead with an election to choose Lalit Bhanot as secretary general. Bhanot faces graft charges in connection with the hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and has spent 11 months in jail. He was unopposed.

Indian officials say they have done nothing wrong because they have followed orders of an Indian court in conducting the controversial poll under a government sports code.

However, the IOC declared the election void, saying the Indian sporting body must show that it is independent of the government. It cited bad governance and meddling by the Indian government as reasons for the suspension.

In India, the suspension prompted widespread calls to reform the Indian Olympic Association and other sporting federations.

V. Srivatsa, a sports commentator in New Delhi, says most sporting bodies are headed by powerful politicians and bureaucrats who care little about nurturing sports. He says allegations of graft are common.

“The entire edifice is controlled by certain vested interests. They have a stranglehold. That is the tragedy of both Indian politics and Indian sports," Srivatsa explains. "Like any other body in the country, sporting bodies need to be cleansed. It’s a leaking roof.  You need to plug it.”

Bad governance of sports is widely blamed for India’s dismal performance in international sports - the six medals it picked up in the London Olympics were its best haul ever. It has won only one gold medal ever at the Olympics - in Beijing.

Sports commentators often compare India to China and say India needs to do much more to develop sports.  

India’s hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games also brought humiliation to the country. Costs shot up from an estimated $75 million to $8 billion, and there were widespread allegations of corruption. Shoddy infrastructure prompted threats by several countries to pull out.  

India, with a rising global profile, has dreams of hosting the Olympics one day.

However, now, under the terms of the suspension, India will not be allowed to compete in any event organized by the International Olympics Committee.  

But, sports officials associated with the IOC have shrugged off the suspension and say they will try to get it revoked as soon as possible.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid