Former athletes urge illegal IOA officials to quit

Updated 22 January 2013
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Former athletes urge illegal IOA officials to quit

NEW DELHI: A group of former India athletes has urged illegal officials of the Indian Olympic Association to quit for the sake of the country after the International Olympic Committee declared last month’s elections “null and void.” “We have decided not to cooperate with you and your collaborators who claim to be office-bearers of the IOA through an illegal election,” the group of 20 athletes wrote in their letter to the executive committee headed by Abhay Singh Chautala. “In the interest of Indian sports please leave the IOA office as directed by the IOC.” The athletes, all of whom have received national awards from the government, wrote the letter after they were asked to forward details of their achievements and photographs to the IOA.
The IOC last month suspended the IOA for not following the Olympic charter in its elections and called for fresh elections before it lifts the ban.
“We strongly believe that the IOC has taken the right decision,” read the letter from the former athletes, initiated by independent body Clean Sports India.
“The IOA has been suspended by the IOC and it is an illegal body. Why should all the award winners give legitimacy to an IOA headed by Abhay Singh Chautala (president) and Lalit Bhanot (secretary-general)?” Female athlete Ashwini Nachappa, and field hockey players Ashish Ballal and Suraj Lata Devi are among the 20 athletes to have backed the latest CSI initiative.
The CSI, headed by former field hockey captain Pargat Singh, sent a letter last year to the IOC signed by some 400 athletes, apprising them of poor governance and the presence of tainted officials in the IOA.
The IOC asked the IOA to adhere to its own constitution but the IOA went ahead with the election, citing a Delhi High Court order that said the polls should be in line with the government sports code.
Also, the IOC ethics commission advised that tainted officials shouldn’t hold administrative posts, but Bhanot was declared elected unopposed despite having been earlier jailed along with former IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi for corruption cases related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Kalmadi, who headed the IOA for 16 years, decided not to seek re-election but backed Chautala and Bhanot.
Meanwhile, Chautala’s elder brother and Table Tennis Federation of India president, Ajay Singh Chautala, was on Monday convicted for 10 years over corruption charges not related to sports. But the case was regarded as another blow to the image of Indian sports officials.
The table tennis official was pronounced guilty along with 54 others by a local court in a teachers’ recruitment scam in 2000 in the northern state of Haryana, where his local political outfit ran the government there.


LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5

James pushes the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5

  • James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
  • James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.

CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
DWYANE’S WORLD
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
TIP-INS:
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
UP NEXT
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.