The ruckus has been ongoing over the election process of the national Olympic body’s chief.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has urged the officials and members of the sports body to stop infighting within the organization, something which even escalated to being known by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It all started with questions being raised on how Batra had won the recent election to gain the position of president, ensuing an internal battle between the IOA chief and secretary general Rajeev Mehta.

This escalated into a public spat between the top IOA officials and even reached the doorsteps of the IOC and World Hockey governing body FIH, with stringent answers being demanded about the validity of Batra’s post as president of both IOA and FIH.

After this, Batra has urged work collaborately and shun infighting in a statement via the Times of India: “I appeal to all officials and members of the IOA to shun infighting, and work collaboratively towards the best interests of athletes and development of their respective sports.”

The power tussle inside IOA began when Narinder Batra asked to take over a few responsibilities from Rajeev Mehta inside the organization as he wanted to ‘share his burden’. Things boiled down to a point when where vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal sought a stringent enquiry into the validity of Batra’s election.

However, this was rejected by both the IOA and FIH, stemming even more questions on how genuine his election process really was. Even when it comes to the resumption of sports in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, IOA chief Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta have issued different views on when it’ll be safe enough to resume action before the 2021 Olympics.

IOA president Narinder Batra is confident that sporting activities can resume in October, but his optimism isn’t shared by Mehta. The IOA secretary general has made it clear that sportspersons shouldn’t be rushed back into training or competition to risk their health amid the rising cases in the country.

With various Indian sportsperson eager to resume their training for the Olympics, which had to be postponed given the circumstances, this internal battle could have a significant effect on that process. The IOA’s reputation is also under the radar amid possible questions of corruption being relayed into the chief, as it remains to be seen how the sports body can get their members on the same page once again.

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