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FIG rejects IOA's plea, says only member can register gymnasts for WC
New Delhi, Sep 16 - With the Sports Ministry requesting the Federation Internationale de Gymnatisque (FIG) to allow the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) committee to select gymnasts for the upcoming World Championship in Artistic Gymnastics, FIG Secretary General Nicolas Buampane has replied to the mail and stressed on good governance and fairness in sports.
In the mail, Buampane has made it clear that while the endeavour to see an end to internal problems in the Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI) is something that even the FIG stresses on, the prerogative to pick and register athletes lies with FIG's member and FIG shall only accept registrations duly signed by their President or Secretary General.
"The decision of who is part of the delegation at our World Championships and the right to register athletes for these events is the only prerogtive of our member. As long as GFI is in good standing with us, we can and shall therefore only accept registrations duly signed by their President or Secretary General we recognise. We are confident that they will organise fair qualifications respecting their rules and statutes," the mail read.
The mail further spoke of the FIG trying to support IOA to bring an end to internal issues in GFI.
"We would like to stress that Good Governance and Fairness in Sport are not empty words for us, but something we constantly fight for. It is in this spirit that over the last years, we have tried to support our National Federation in India (GFI) and helped to solve their internal problems, which seem to be never ending. It is in this sense that we have also -- as far as possible -- supported the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in this endeavour.
"We have threatened GFI twice to suspend them, should they not organise elections in time and respecting their statutes. We shall suspend them, should they not hold their elections as agreed. We are therefore grateful to the IOA and their respective committee to have undertaken this very important step in cooperation with and the support of GFI," the mail read.
"We very much regret the ongoing fighting within GFI which seems to have started with the query concerning the Secretary General who was replaced against his will. Such internal tensions and court cases are always to the detriment of the athletes and destroy the common efforts for development of the whole gymnastics family in India. We sincerely hope, that with the new elections, this shall now come to an end."
In the letter to Buampane, Joint Secretary of Sports Ministry Inder Dhamija had further stated that Sudhakar Shetty and GFI would both attract penal action under the law in the event they use the Indian flag or show the team representing India in the World Championship.
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