IOA can't hold elections now: IOC - The New Indian Express

IOA can't hold elections now: IOC

Published: 06th December 2012 10:57 AM

Last Updated: 06th December 2012 10:57 AM

Nimtaz-Tanya Noordin, Coordinator, Media Relations Team of the International Olympic Committee, in an e-mail reply to queries from the Express, has categorically stated that the Indian Olympic Association cannot hold elections till the suspension is lifted.

“The EB decided to suspend the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) due to its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, failure to inform the IOC in a timely matter, and as a protective measure against government interference in the IOA’s election process,” said Nimtaz.

“With this decision, the IOA is no longer entitled to exercise any activity or right, including financial support, conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC until the suspension is lifted by the IOC Executive Board,” according to Nimtaz. “In particular, the Executive Board confirms that the IOA is not entitled to hold any elections until all pending issues are resolved and the EB decides to lift the suspension,” Nimtaz has stated emphatically.

IOA violations

It is all too simplistic for officials of the Indian Olympic Association to state that they have not violated the Olympic Charter. But as one studies the Olympic Charter, without even going into it very closely, a number of violations come to the fore. Elections are not the only topic that the Olympic Charter delves into. There are all issues concerning a National Olympic Committee (NOC, in India’s case the IOA) and an International Federation (IF).

Chapter 22 of the OC deals with the IOC Ethics Commission. “The IOC Ethics Commission is charged with defining and updating a framework of ethical principles, including a Code of Ethics, based upon the values and principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter of which the said Code forms an integral part.”

This directly applies to deeds or misdeeds of Suresh Kalmadi, V K Verma and Lalit Bhanot. Consequently, Pere Miro, Director, NOCs, wrote to the IOA’s acting president V K Malhotra that none of them must be allowed to participate in the IOA’s election process. But the IOA overlooked it and chose to violate the OC. Lalit Bhanot being allowed to file his nomination and his subsequent election as the secretary general unanimously is nothing but a blatant and entirely irresponsible violation of the OC. Chapter 25 deals with recognition of International Federations.

“In order to develop and promote the Olympic Movement, the IOC may recognise as IFs international non-governmental organisations administering one or several sports at world level and encompassing organisations administering such sports at national level.

Bye-law to Rules 27 and 28 state that: An NOC shall not recognise more than one national federation for each sport governed by an IF.

In the case of hockey, the IOA has violated the OC by allowing the Indian Hockey Federation and Hockey India to be part of the fold. Now that the Delhi HC has given voting rights to the IHF faction also, it is a direct violation of the OC. According to Chapter 27, Mission and Role of the NOCs, the NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind, including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic Charter. By directly stating that they are obeying the Delhi HC orders and are conducting elections under the government’s Sports Code, the IOA is guilty of breach of the OC here too.

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