IOC to IOA: Set your house in order by December or get suspended

Because of the uncertainty in the IOA, the IOC postponed the 2023 IOC session in Mumbai from May to September/October next year

Published: 09th September 2022 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2022 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta

Indian Olympic Association Secretary General Rajeev Mehta (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued Indian Olympic Association (IOA) a final warning to resolve all issues or face suspension.

As reported by this newspaper, the IOC discussed infighting and court cases at its Executive Board meeting on Thursday and shot a letter to the IOA.

Because of the uncertainty in the IOA, the IOC postponed the 2023 IOC session in Mumbai from May to September/October next year.

The IOC, like in its July letter, insisted that IOA hold its elections as early as possible to avoid any sanction. It also said that the elections should be conducted in accordance with the Olympic Charter.

In fact, in its last letter, it had said the election should be held in accordance with the existing IOA constitution too.

James MacLeod, Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations of the IOC, in a letter, said that the IOC EB had "examined the situation of the NOC of India and, in view of the ongoing internal disputes, governance shortcomings and ongoing court cases, took these decisions."

The letter has been written to the IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and all members of the Executive Council.

The IOC was left with no choice but "To issue a final warning and consider the immediate suspension of the NOC of India at the next IOC Executive Board meeting in December 2022 if, by then, the NOC of India is not able to:

1. address and resolve its governance issues to the satisfaction of the IOC, in the interest of sport and the athletes; and

2. operate properly through its governing bodies, i.e. the Executive Committee and General Assembly, and fulfill its obligations, in particular by holding its quadrennial elections in accordance with the Olympic Charter."

In case the IOA fails to do so before the December EB meeting, IOA will be suspended which will eventually bar athletes from participating in international events under the national flag nor will the national anthem be played.

The IOC refused to acknowledge Anil Khanna as the acting president.

"During this transition period, and given that the IOC does not currently recognise any “interim/acting president” of the NOC of India, the NOC Secretary General will serve as the main point of contact to coordinate the next steps with the IOC, in close consultation and in agreement with the NOC Executive Council and General Assembly," said the letter.

"In view of the uncertain situation, the IOC Session that is due to take place in Mumbai in May 2023 is postponed until September/October 2023. Depending on the decisions that will be taken during the IOC Executive Board meeting in December 2022 relating to the NOC of India, the IOC Executive Board will decide as to whether the IOC Session in 2023 should be maintained in India or be relocated," said the letter.

With the IOA a divided house, it needs to be seen how things would pan out. Adille Sumariwalla, who too had said he was the president of the IOA, too would not be recognised.

The IOC has proposed a meeting between all stakeholders in Lausanne on September 27. The IOA welcomed the decision. Mehta said that he welcomes the decision and would work towards resolving the issues.


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