IOC to propose suspension of Indian Olympic Association
The International Olympic Committee has begun the process to derecognise the Indian Olympic Association. IOC in its earlier letter -- that was signed by its chief Jacques Rogge and Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah -- had warned that India would be suspended if the December 5 elections are held under the government's Sports Code and not under the Olympic Charter.
The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, made it clear that it will propose the suspension of IOA in its Executive Board Meeting early next month if the upcoming IOA elections are held under the government's Sports Code, a development which has put the controversial polls under a cloud.
In a letter written by IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper to IOA acting chief V K Malhotra, the world body rejected IOA's request to send an international delegation to resolve the issue and threatened to initiate the process of suspending the Indian sports body.
The world body reiterated its directive to the IOA as expressed in its letter on November 23 to present its position to the IOC by November 30 or face suspension.
IOC in its earlier letter -- that was signed by its chief Jacques Rogge and Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah -- had warned that India would be suspended if the December 5 elections are held under the government's Sports Code and not under the Olympic Charter.
Malhotra, in a reply to IOC's November 23 letter, had requested the world body to send a delegation to India to resolve the issue.
"... the IOC and OCA will not send delegates to India at this stage. From your letter of 26 November, we came to the conclusion that the IOA and the Government authorities are unable to rectify the situation in order for the IOA elections to be conducted in line with the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution, as required by the IOC," the latest IOC letter said.
"In view of the above, it is hereby confirmed that a proposal for suspension of the IOA will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4-5 December 2012, based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter," the letter said.
"As mentioned in the IOC/OCA letter of 23 November, the IOA is invited to provide all necessary explanations and to present its position in writing to the IOC no later than 30 November 2012," it said.
A day earlier, on Tuesday, ace marksman Abhinav Bindra had expressed his disappointment with the mess that IOA is in and had told NDTV that he feels the best way forward is to have athletes in administrative roles. (Read: Bindra disappointed with IOA)
The IOC slammed the IOA for continuing with the election process despite its clear communication that such a poll will not be recognised by it and the OCA.
"It is therefore extremely surprising and - once again contradictory - that you continue to move ahead with the IOA's election process. The IOA and OCA have already made it clear that such 'election process' - if it is held - will not be recognised by the IOC and OCA," said the letter whose copies were marked for Rogge and Al Sabah.
"It was indeed clearly mentioned (in the IOC/OCA letter of 23 November) that a proposal for suspension of IOA would be submitted to the next IOC Executive Board meeting on 4-5 December 2012 if the situation is not rectified with immediate effect and the IOC is given clear and written guarantees to ensure that the IOA's elections can be held strictly on the basis of the Olympic Charter and the IOA's constitution.
"Your letter does not, unfortunately, provide us with these guarantees but invite for an IOC/OCA delegation to come to India while you continue to move ahead with an 'election process'," the letter said.
The world body also came down hard on the IOA and the Sports Ministry for failing to resolve the issue for more than two years.
"... the issues at hand have been discussed for more than two years and have unfortunately not been resolved adequately by the Government authorities and the IOA in spite of all the efforts made by the IOC to express a clear position and make concrete proposals to overcome this situation.
"The IOC invited IOA and Government representatives to a meeting in Lausanne in June 2010 and, since then, has been continuously available to work constructively in order to find an acceptable solution. These efforts have, however, been unsuccessful due to the regrettable lack of cooperation from the IOA and the Government authorities, which has led to the current situation," the IOC said.
The elections to the IOA have been marred by controversy over the issue of under which framework they would be held and this had led to the resignation of IOA-appointed Election Commission Chairman S Y Quraishi and later presidential candidate Randhir Singh withdrawing from the race.
Taking into account Delhi High Court's order, the Quraishi-led Commission had ruled that the IOA polls would be held under the government's Sports Code, which in turn, invited IOC's directive to the IOA to "exclusively" apply the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution.
Quraishi, a former Chief Election Commissioner of India, then stepped down, citing the backtracking by the IOA to apply the Sports Code. Justice (retd) Anil Dev Singh was appointed by the IOA in his place.
Quraishi's resignation led to the postponement of the elections from November 25 to December 5, but a relentless IOC was not happy with the confusion over under which framework the polls would be held.
The world body issued a warning on November 23 that a proposal for suspension of IOA would be placed before IOC's next Executive Board meeting on December 4-5 if the elections are held under the government's Sports Code. The world body re-iterated its decision after IOA failed to clear the air.
Randhir, who is an IOC member and Secretary General of both the OCA and the IOA, withdrew his nomination for the post of president, saying that since the world body had said the polls would not be recognised if they are held under the Sports Code, he cannot go against the institution he belongs to.
This has left the field open for Abhay Singh Chautala to be elected unopposed for the IOA president's post.
IOA's position has been that it has been opposing the Sports Code from the beginning but will have to abide by the Delhi High Court order to hold the elections under the Sports Code.