N Ramachandran is facing growing opposition to his performance as IOA President ©Getty Images

Ruptures within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have re-emerged into the open today after the calling of a motion of no-confidence against the body's President, N Ramachandran.

In a letter circulated among members, Hockey India President Narinder Batra claimed there to be widespread criticism to Ramachandran's running of the body, because he is "working towards weakening and finishing off the IOA".

He then called for an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to press for a no-confidence vote, threatening to orchestrate further opposition if such a meeting is not called within a month.

This comes little more than a year after the IOA's 14-month suspension from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), following the election of tainted officials, was lifted, albeit only after the appointment of Ramachandran as President.

If the official, who also heads the World Squash Federation, is ultimately forced to step down and replaced by non-IOC approved officials, the world's second most populous nation faces a resumption of its ban, which could result in athletes being unable to compete under the national flag at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

This is a particular worry because it has been suggested that tainted former IOA President Abhay Chautala and secretary general Lalit Bhanot, who spent 11 months in jail on corruption charges linked to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, are among those closely involved in the opposition.

Just last week, IOC President Thomas Bach warned the IOA to stay clear of infighting and work together to improve sport during a visit to the nation.

Hockey India head Narinder Batra is at the heart of the opposition against N Ramachandran ©Hockey India
Hockey India head Narinder Batra is at the heart of the opposition against N Ramachandran ©Hockey India

But, despite the election of Ramachandran having been hailed as the dawn of a new and more harmonious era with the national body, there have been various indications all is not well, particularly in terms of the relationship between Ramachandran and IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta.

The duo appeared to contradict each other over a potential Indian bid for the next edition of the Asian Games, which was eventually dropped due to a lack of Government support, while an IOA investigation was opened into Mehta after he was arrested and accused of driving without a licence and under the influence of alcohol last summer during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The way certain individuals were seemingly cut out of the meeting with Bach last week is also thought to have contributed to the latest unrest, as well as the fact that Ramachandran travelled to Lausanne to meet with IOC officials last week, allegedly without even consulting his IOA colleagues. 

“We are not happy with the style of functioning of the IOA President," Batra told The Hindu today.

"Nobody knows what is happening in the IOA.

"Even some of the key office-bearers of the organisation are not being kept in the loop.

"Also, the way we were presented before the IOC President has put us in very poor light before the IOC. 

“As per the IOA constitution, two-third [of] members have to initiate the motion and we on behalf of HI (Hockey India) have started it.” 

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