New Delhi: Clean Sports India, a movement for corruption-free sports in the country, has accused Sports Secretary PK Deb of being "hand in glove" with "tainted" sports administrators like Lalit Bhanot, a charge which the senior bureaucrat has strongly refuted.
The CSI said that the Sports Secretary worked with the suspended IOA led by Abhey Singh Chautala to include Hockey India General Secretary Narinder Batra and Jharkhand Olympic Association President R K Anand in the IOA delegation for Wednesday's meeting with the International Olympic Committee.
Batra and Anand were elected as the vice-presidents in the IOA elections held a day after the IOC banned India on December 4 last for conducting the polls under the Sports Ministry's controversial Sports Code.
"Clean Sports India was not surprised at all when news broke out about Sports Secretary P K Deb's collusion with Lalit Bhanot. We were aware of his lenient approach with tainted officials. He even met Chautala several times in recent times," CSI convener BVP Rao alleged in a statement.
"He wanted Narender Batra in the delegation. In fact, it is at our and some others initiative that Abhinav Bindra was included by the Minister. Otherwise Secretary had no intention of taking any sportsperson like Abhinav," he claimed.
Deb, who is currently in Lausanne for the meeting, said he had not heard anything more absurd.
"I have never heard of anything so absurd. All I am trying to do is to get the sports code implemented and get India back to the Olympics", Deb said.
Rao said that the manner in which the Sports Secretary was trying to lift the ban on India would harm sports in the country.
"This group of IOA officials and Secretary Sports have been planning to get suspension revoked without much reforms in IOA. What Secretary Sports, perhaps, wanted was to get suspension revoked before he retired.
"That is an honourable approach, but the method and people he is using will harm Indian sports in the long run. They think that IOC will accept their quick fix plan," he said.
He also said that the lifting of the ban on India should be accompanied by the IOC setting tough benchmarks to be adhered by the IOA on ethics and good governance.
"Cleans Sports India is hopeful that there will be a tough roadmap for revocation of suspension of IOA. The roadmap may contain stricter Ethical Conduct of members of IOA and National Sports Federations.
"The roadmap will also contain meaningful milestones on conduct of Olympic Movement based in principles of Good Governance. IOC has loads of information on corruption and mis-governance of IOA. The milestones on Governance are more important for future of Indian Sports."
He said that the IOC has made it clear in the suspension letter of December 4 last that "the IOA has been unable to observe its own statutes and the Olympic Charter and to enforce the basic principles of ethics and good governance".