IOA chief Narinder Batra defends controversial appointment of Pawandeep Kohli

Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra on Saturday stood by the appointment of Pawandeep Singh Kohli as chairman of its medical commission, a move that raised a few eyebrows.

Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra on Saturday stood by the appointment of Pawandeep Singh Kohli as chairman of its medical commission, a move that raised a few eyebrows.

Pawandeep's name was embroiled in a controversy when he was appointed as the chief medical officer of the Indian contingent for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"We stand by the decision to appoint Dr Pawandeep Singh Kohli as the chairman of the medical commission. The decision was jointly taken by secretary general Rajeev Mehta and I. Further, the Executive Board has to ratify all the appointments in its next meeting," Batra said in a statement.

Son of veteran sports administrator Tarlochan Singh, his role as the chief medical officer of the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics had come under scanner after reports emerged that Pawandeep, a radiologist by profession, could not provide the required help to the Indian athletes during the Games.

Justifying the move, Batra further stated, "The commission has to provide inputs on medical issues related to each sport, how to prevent injuries, how to treat injuries, what all medical arrangements are required at each event etc. along with all other related inputs and information.

"The medical commission members may not necessarily travel with the teams on international tours."

During the Rio Games, reports had also claimed that Pawandeep prescribed 'combiflam' to the country's athletes when they complained of pain.

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