By Duncan Mackay
British Internet Sports Writer of the Year

May 28 - The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has complained to the Indian Government after they blamed Randhir Singh (pictured) for misleading the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the row over how long officials should be allowed to serve in their posts and which is threatening India's participation at London 2012.

The country's Sports Ministry wrote to the IOC President Jacques Rogge earlier this week asking for an urgent meeting after they were warned that they could be banned from international competition, including the Olympics, following the introduction of new rules which would limit the tenure of sports officials in senior roles.

In the letter they accused Singh, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and OCA and a member of the IOC, of misleading Olympic officials and trying to protect himself and Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the IOA.

Husain Al-Musallam, the director general of the OCA, has now written to M.S Gill, India's Sports Minister, to protest at their comments.

He wrote: "I am extremely dismayed at contents of the letter.

"Mr Randhir Singh is the secretary general of the IOA for last two decades and his knowledge, wisdom and commitment to the Olympic Movement has been exemplary.

"He has always strived to maintain a fine balance between the various arms of the Olympic Movement and has acted as a bridge between the NOCs of Asia, OCA and international sporting organisations.

"Therefore any such attack on him personally will not be accepted and entertained by the OCA."

Al-Musallam also used his letter to reiterate warnings that the Indian Government should stop interferring in the administration of the IOA and the country's sports federations.

He wrote: "The OCA has always advocated that the autonomy of the NOC as well as the NSFs is of prime importance.

"However, we have always maintained that a strong and harmonious relationship should be maintained with the Governmental organisations in order to carry out sports development work in the respective countries.

"I would, therefore, strongly recommend that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should take all the local sports organisations into confidence and work as one team for the development of sports."

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