IOC satisfied with CEO appointment, says IOA Constitution had to be implemented

International Olympic body 'looking forward' to working closely with IOA
Indian Olympic Association logo. (Photo | olympic.ind)
Indian Olympic Association logo. (Photo | olympic.ind)

CHENNAI: The International Olympic Committee has noted the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer in the Indian Olympic Association and is “looking forward” to working closely with the national Olympic committee. The IOC has also expressed satisfaction that the appointment process is finally over.
It must be noted that the IOC had been very critical of the non-appointment of a CEO last year. They even stopped communicating with the acting CEO (Kalyan Chaubey, who is also the IOA joint secretary) and maintained a direct link with the IOA president.

Now, with the appointment of the CEO, things are expected to move in the right direction. The IOC told this daily through an email statement that they had been informed about the appointment. "The IOC has been informed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) of the appointment of Mr Raghuram Iyer as the new CEO of the IOA," said a communication from the world governing body. "The IOC took note of this decision and is very satisfied to see that this much-awaited appointment process has been finally completed, as part of the governance reforms which were adopted in the IOA's Constitution and had to be implemented."

The IOA earlier last year wanted to change the constitution diluting some of the powers of the CEO but the IOC did not agree and insisted that the constitution should not be tinkered with because this was what had been approved before the IOA special general assembly adopted it in November 2022. The appointment of the CEO and its powers as outlined in the new constitution had been a sticky point among some executive council members. But the IOC said that the constitution was checked meticulously before vetting and there was no reason to change it. The same constitution was used to elect the same EC members including the president.

The appointment of the CEO is crucial because the IOC had insisted during the IOC Session in Mumbai that a strong NOC is necessary to initiate the bidding process. One of the issues that turned into a sore point between the IOC and the IOA was the non-appointment of a CEO.

The IOA during its executive meeting on January 5 decided to appoint Raghuram Iyer, who has been associated with Indian Premier League teams in various capacities from 2007 to 2022. The IOC further said, "The IOC looks forward to pursuing and developing its collaboration with the IOA and will continue to assist and support the IOA in performing its mission and daily activities, in the interest of the Olympic Movement and the athletes in India."

The IOC apparently is in touch with the IOA over the appointment and has even congratulated the nomination committee comprising of its president (PT Usha), athletes’ commission chairperson (MC Mary Kom) and IOC member in India (Nita Ambani) and the EC members who have helped to finalise the appointment. Iyer is formally joining the IOA on January 15. With the Olympics just over six months away and the bidding process of the Olympics on the cards, the appointment is critical.

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