The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had threatened a suspension on September 8 and said the IOA must hold elections by December this year.
Khanna took charge of IOA after a court ruling ended Narinder Batra’s reign as head of the country’s top sports organization.
Khanna, senior vice president of the IOA, said he “respects” the opinion of the IOC, but at the same time asked the world’s sports umbrella organization who will have ultimate authority to “decide the ‘Law of the Land’ and and the establishment of a NOC (National Olympic Committee).
“Based on the Constitution of IOA, as unanimously approved by the General House and supported by a similar past precedent in the 2011 presidential vacancy, I assumed responsibility for the duties and functions of the president for a short period of time,” Khanna said in a statement.
He referred to then-senior vice president VK Malhotra who took charge as acting IOA president after incumbent chief Suresh Kalmadi was arrested on corruption charges related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
“This was confirmed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on June 24, 2022,” Khanna said in a letter to the IOA Secretary General and members.
“I am honored to have been part of the IOA Sports Association over the past few years and have served in various capacities. It was a privilege for me to be part of the Commonwealth Games as Acting President, where India performed remarkably well. ”
In a September 8 letter, the IOC said it will not recognize an “acting/interim president” after Batra’s ouster as IOA chief and said it will treat Secretary General Rajeev Mehta as the main point of contact.
“While I respect the positions of the IOC, at some point, when the dust settles, I would like to ask the IOC who will determine and interpret the ‘Law of the Land’ and the Constitution of the NOCs in a nation. .
“Will this interpretation be made by the IOC or will the same be done by the Hon’ble Courts of a Nation? Once the Hon’ble Courts of a Nation have made a decision after careful consideration, will it be appropriate for the IOC to different interpretation than the findings of the Hon’ble Courts!!”
Khanna, former boss of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), admitted that the IOA is going through a difficult phase.
“It is no secret that IOA has been going through a turbulent time in the past two years and that elections are approaching in a few months and also because of the Hon’ble High Court order that could affect the future of some member parties. the concerns of many in our family have increased, leading to ongoing lawsuits even in recent weeks.
“Different factions of IOA take markedly opposing views on constitutional matters, including the interpretation of the constitution and the position of the interim/acting president. IOC also stated in their letter that they do not recognize IOA’s interim/acting president. ”
He said the government has made genuine efforts to normalize IOA’s activities and that the Supreme Court is sensitive to the IOC’s positions to protect the interests of Indian athletes.
“I have already stated in my previous letter dated September 18, 2022 that it is the duty of the entire IOA family to join hands and cooperate with the government and take steps under the guidance of the IOC and the Hon’ ble Courts for freedom and fair elections, according to the principles of good governance, according to mutually agreed timetables.
“In order to bring more harmony to the entire membership of IOA and to achieve the above goal, I have decided to step down from the responsibilities and duties of the President conferred upon me by the Constitution of IOA and the Hon’ble High Court .”