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After long-standing acrimony, the World Archery (WA) on Thursday suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) in charges of defying its guidelines. The AAI had elected two parallel bodies. The WA urged the AAI to put its house in order by the end of July. The suspension is effective from Monday, and the last event in which the archers can participate under the Indian flag is the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid from August 19-25. The AAI was asked to find a solution by the end of July as per the WA's executive board deadline and since no progress was made, the world governing body implemented the suspension order. In a release by the WA, on behalf of the executive board, secretary general Tom Dielen said: “World Archery is implementing the decision taken in June by suspending the Archery Association of India. The last event in which Indian athletes can participate is the youth championships in Madrid.”
He added, “If no long-term solution is found by the end of August, the executive board will decide what can be done to preserve the chances of Indian athletes participating in the Asian Championships and Asian Para Championships. At the same time, World Archery will also decide whether individual athletes can participate in the Indoor Archery World Series.” World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen The AAI had urged WA to give it a few more days, as AAI expected a definitive court judgment from the Delhi High Court which was later adjourned, but the request was turned down. The WA officials were keen to proceed with the decision as it was decided during the world body’s extraordinary board meeting in Den Bosch back on June 14. Olympic quota places will be up for grabs at the Asian Championships and Asian Para Championships, to be held in Bangkok in November. India so far have three men’s places secured for the next Olympics but has yet to win a women’s spot. Indian men's recurve archers qualified for Olympics 2020 Tournaments at the Indoor Archery World Series, held from November-February, are open to all athletes rather than just the national teams. But archers must be a member of a national federation in good standing to register. In two separate elections, held simultaneously on June 9 in New Delhi and Chandigarh, AAI elected two presidents Arjun Munda and BVP Rao. Munda had the support of 20 state associations while ten state bodies backed Rao. World Archery had sent its vice-president, Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol, as a mediator and observer for the elections but could not get both the factions to agree to a common election. The Sports Authority (SAI) of India is now conducting trials for the upcoming Asian Championships in Sonepat and will announce the squad on Friday. Further, Indian archers will be allowed to send individual entries as long as AAI is under suspension. After the Madrid event, Indian archers will have to participate under World Archery’s flag until AAI’s suspension is lifted. With less than a year to go for the Olympics, the fancied Indian women's team is yet to book a quota place for Tokyo 2020, while the men have secured qualification at the World Championships in Netherlands last month.
“We will now work with the Indian Olympic Association and Indian Government to try to establish a transitory committee, with representatives from all sides, to handle urgent matters.”