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IOA suspension a blessing in disguise?
One would hope that the structure and the working of the IOA changes for good after the IOC decided to suspend it. But, there are serious challenges that lie ahead, such as red tapism, corruption, structural management etc. If these things are not taken care of right now, the future of Indian sports will only take a dip.

THE YEAR 2012 would be remembered for two main reasons in Indian Olympic history. One: best medal haul in London Olympics and second, the embarrassing episode of the Indian Olympic Association suspension by International Olympic Committee for government's interference in its election process.

But, it is the latter, which is going to overshadow India's performance in the 2012 Olympics, as it is indeed one of the worst days for Indian sport. The Indian government needs to get cracking on it and see to it that in the near future that such kind of episodes do not bring a bad name to the nation, which has happened in this case.

Whenever it comes to India, corruption is very rampant among officials and the same goes for the Indian Olympic Association officials as well. It was for the same reason - corruption that the former President of the Indian Olympic Association, Suresh Kalmadi was sent behind bars. One fails to understand as to why officials involve themselves in corruption, when they are paid decent wages for their services.

One major problem that lies within the structure of the Indian Olympic Association is that the officials involved are not sportspersons, nor have they been directly related to any sports. It is a major drawback, as they do not have any experience and do not know about the requirement of various sports. It is only sportspersons, who would be able to use their experience and help India grow as a strong sporting nation.

Most of the top rung officials of the IOA currently are politicians, which include Vijay Kumar Malhotra from BJP and acting president, Ajay Singh Chautala from Indian Lok Dal Party and president elect, Jagdish Tytler from Indian National Congress and the Vice-President of IOA. Indian sport is only going to move forward, if the politicians are outnumbered by former sportspersons. There have been calls from several quarters asking for overhaul of the current members of the Indian Olympic Association, which is almost devoid of sportspersons.

Another major problem with such kind of organisation is red tapism, where it becomes difficult for files to move from one place to another without the required signatory. For instance, there might be instances when some urgent replacements (players) are to be made in any sport, but it takes a lot of time, as there are various committees that have to approve it before the final seal. They adhere to it, as a result of which major time is lost out in the process. But, if such kind of things are not done, it would auger well for sports as well as the organisation.

The Indian government is aware how the IOA works, but it did not take any initiative in the past to improve it. But now, the governement must also have been moved with the stance taken by the IOC to suspend IOA, which may also act as a positive thing for Indian sport and bring some changes in the organisation, which have been pending for a long time. If the Indian government does not act at this hour as well, it is the future of Indian sports, which is going to take a direct hit. An optimist may view this as an opportunity to remove the rotten tomatoes from the system and get in new ones, which would help the organisation as well as the sportspersons to move ahead.

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