N. Ramachandran not to contest IOA elections

IOA president N. Ramachandran announced his decision not to seek a second term when the elections will be held at the AGM in Delhi on December 14.

N. Ramachandran's will not seek a second term as IOA president.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

As widely expected, N. Ramachandran said here on Thursday that he will not contest for the second term as President of Indian Olympic Association in its AGM to be held in New Delhi on December 14.

In a release addressed to the IOA members, he said: “I am nearing 70 and I intend to abide by the Constitution of the IOA and the guidelines framed by the International Olympic Association. I firmly believe that my successor should have a full term of four years and I wish him and the new team all the very best.”

On the question of whether he conceded defeat when it was clear that the numbers were stacked against him at the Executive Committee meeting held in the first week of November in the city, Ramachandran refused to be drawn into the debate.

The 69-year-old also refused to answer when asked what changed between the first week of November when the IOA Secretary Rajeev Mehta called for an executive emergent meeting in New Delhi and now.

Was he exploring options? “No”, he said, “I felt that the time was right and I don’t wish to ask anybody a favour to stay on.”

Ramachandran said when he took over in February 2014, the credibility of IOA was at its lowest. “In the last four years, I think one can say that the credibility is good vis-a-vis Olympic Council of Asia and International Olympic Association. Litigation is not the solution,” he said.

Ramachandran said he has always taken decisions in the best interest of IOA. “The IOA has many stakeholders and there are competitive interests,” he said. “If X or Y did not agree with the decision, X or Y could be anybody, I couldn’t help it.”