Delay in appointing CEO will only embarass IOA

When the Indian Olympic Association elected its new office-bearers headed by track legend P T Usha, there was a lot of anticipation.

Published: 31st March 2023 12:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2023 12:45 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Olympic Association logo. (Photo | olympic.ind)

Indian Olympic Association logo. (File photo | olympic.ind)

When the Indian Olympic Association elected its new office-bearers headed by track legend P T Usha, there was a lot of anticipation. For the first time, reputed athletes like Olympic and Asian Games medallists formed a major chunk of the newly constituted body and were expected to be the harbingers of change. Yet, almost five months down the line, quite a few things need to be addressed. First and foremost is appointing a Chief Executive Officer/secretary general.

The International Olympic Committee repeatedly reminded the IOA of its obligation to appoint one, but the latter is yet to take the call. It became an embarrassment when the IOC addressed its concern during a press briefing after its Executive Board meeting on Wednesday. During its three-day meeting, though the EB “formally acknowledged the results of the elections and confirmed that the 2023 IOC Session would take place in Mumbai”, it was not amused about the vacant CEO/secretary general post in IOA. “However, the NOC (National Olympic Committee) has not yet appointed the new CEO/Secretary General, in accordance with the NOC Constitution. The IOC EB subsequently urged the NOC of India to finalise the appointment process without further delay in order to finally normalise the situation,” said an IOC statement.

The newly amended constitution that the IOC approved mandates appointing a CEO/secretary general. What is baffling is that the IOA is yet to find a suitable candidate. It is understood that the IOA received only seven applications (the last date was on January 30) for the post, out of which only one met the eligibility criteria. After the December election, the IOA sought time from the IOC and, as per the constitution, gave the CEO’s charge to its joint secretary Kalyan Chaubey. There is a possibility that the eligibility criteria might be tweaked to allow more candidates to apply. The IOA recently informed the IOC that making the appointment would take further time. The IOA must realise that dragging its feet further is not in its best interests as it would look like a delaying tactic. The IOC’s message is very clear: appoint a CEO at once. With the 2023 IOC Session confirmed in Mumbai later this year, getting the issue sorted out as early as possible has become much more crucial. The ball is in the IOA’s court.


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