Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra on Sunday appealed for an end to infighting within the sports body which even reached the upper echelons of the International Olympic Committee.
It started with a turf war between Batra and IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and reached a point where questions were raised about the validity of the former’s election to the top post.
“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,” Batra said in a statement.
The public spats between IOA officials reached the doorsteps of the IOC and the world hockey body – the FIH – with a few officials questioning Batra’s election as president of both the IOA and the FIH.
The power tussle between the key officials of the IOA began when Batra told Mehta that he wants to take over a few responsibilities from him to “share his burden”.
It gradually reached a level where vice-President Sudhanshu Mittal sought an international inquiry into Batra’s election, a demand that was rejected by the IOC as well as the FIH.
Batra and Mehta have also been giving opposing views on the resumption of sporting activities in the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Batra expects the action to resume by October, Mehta is less optimistic and has asserted that athletes shouldn’t be rushed back to training or competition given the rising cases in the country.