IOA's suspension leaves athletes worried, angry
Top athletes were quick to share over twitter their disappointment after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) due to government interference in its election process.
Shooter Abhinav Bindra, India's sole individual gold medallist at the Olympics, tweeted: "Bye Bye IOA, hope to see u again soon, hopefully cleaner!"
Bindra's compatriot and London Olympics bronze medallist rifle shooter Gagan Narang termed the development "unfortunate". "It's unfortunate but I am not too sure about the issue, haven't been following them of late," he said.
Beijing Games bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh agreed with Narang but hoped for an early settlement of the issue. "I don't know what has gone wrong. It is an unfortunate development. Elections were to be held under the Sports Code which is similar to the IOC Charter. So, I don't know why the IOC took this step. I hope the matter is resolved early so that there is no long-term implication on athletes," the 29-year-old strapping pugilist said.
Boxer M.C. Mary Kom, who won a bronze at the London Olympics, said it would be difficult for her to compete without knowing the fate of Indian sports.
"I do not know much about this (suspension). I don't have a good feeling about this. I will not be able to give my 100 percent without the Indian flag," said Mary Kom, suggesting India's possible exclusion from the major sporting events, including the Olympics.
Ashwini Ponnappa, badminton women's doubles gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games was furious after hearing about the suspension.
"We athletes are going to suffer. What is the point of playing under the Olympic flag. It is not the same. There is no patriotism. Olympics are amazing as you get to represent your country in the biggest sporting ever. At the same time, IOA deserves it. Wish the athletes did not have to pay for it," Ponnappa said.
Veteran tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi said: "So I got banned, now the IOA gets banned, they says things like these normally happen in three's... Wonder what's next!!"
Former Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi asked on his Twitter page: "What is worse -IOA, IOC or IPL?! Please come forward with constructive response. Remember the sportspersons' involvement is strictly at stake. Thanks."
With the suspension, India is now in a dubious list that includes Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.