IOA attempts to resolve gymnastics governance crisis

Narinder Batra writes to president and secretary of the de-recognised Gymnastics Federation of India to help break the impasse.

The deadlock “severely impacts the representation of athletes in international competitions” wrote Narinder Batra.   -  PTI

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has intensified its efforts to end the governance crisis in gymnastics.

IOA president Narinder Batra has written to the president and secretary of the de-recognised Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI), Sudhakar Shetty and Shantikumar Singh respectively, in a fresh attempt to break the deadlock. The sport doesn’t have a recognised governing body since 2012.

The copy of the letter has also been marked to other important stakeholders including sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and Morinari Watanabe, president of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

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The IOA has also referred the matter to its dispute commission, which is headed by Rakesh Sharma. “The Sports Ministry de-recognised GFI in 2012 stating internal disputes. Owing to non-resolution of governance issues, GFI continues to be de-recognised by the government. It severely impacts the representation of athletes in international competitions,” wrote Batra.

“The legal committee and core committee of the IOA in its meeting on July 17, 2018 had reviewed the 20 representations received regarding this subject. Among the 16 State units that were in the electoral college of the last GFI elections, 12 units have submitted representation. Assuming even if there are 28 state units in India and 20 of them have raised governance issues, it is a considerable objection that cannot be ignored,” Batra added.

Despite the administrative crisis, the sport has seen some outstanding performances, including Dipa Karmakar’s historic fourth place in the 2016 Rio Olympics.