Indian Olympic [ Images ] Association (IOA) general secretary Randhir Singh on Monday said Hockey Punjab [ Images ] cannot be denied affiliation as the IOA constitution makes it mandatory to recognise a state association approved by the state's Olympic association.
Randhir also said IOA believed in "total transparency" and anyone feeling otherwise should contact the IOA secretariat.
"IOA has no interest in indulging in any kind of politics. We believe in total transparency. We function according to the charter of Olympic movement which clearly says that a state association should be affiliated by its national federation if it is approved by the respective Olympic association," he said.
"If the Punjab association is approved by its state Olympic association they will get the affiliation," he said.
Hockey Punjab Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has accused the IOA and its president Suresh Kalmadi [ Images ] of hatching a conspiracy against the state by debarring them from Hockey India's [ Images ] January 29 elections.
Randhir rejected the accusations and said the IOA was not trying to encroach upon the autonomy of national sports federations. "We are not at all interested in challenging the autonomy of any sports federation. In fact, we want them to work independently," Randhir said.
The IOA General Secretary also said that Hockey India elections, set for January 29, will be held only after the state associations were affiliated.
Asked why was IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi, who is also the president of Asian Athletic Federation, interested in becoming the Hockey India chief, Randhir said "it's better you ask this question to Mr Kalmadi."
Asked about the Indian Weightlifting Federation, Randhir said the body should not have any dope-tainted official on its Board.
"India is a leading force in the weight lifting arena. The International Weightlifting Federation wants a complete clean up of the sport's governing body in India. There should be no drug-tainted officials in the board otherwise our weightlifters can be banned from competing in the commonwealth Games.
"If anyone has a problem, he should contact the IOA secretariat. Being a parent body we want to set good example," he added.