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IOC rejects IOA's objections on charge-sheeted persons

August 17, 2013 15:43 IST

IOC rejects IOA's objections on charge-sheeted persons

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International Olympic Committee refused to change its stance on barring charge-sheeted persons from contesting Indian Olympic Association elections, saying that entertaining IOA's objections would amount to undermining the Olympic charter.

IOC had sent the revised draft Constitution of the IOA which envisaged barring of corruption-tainted persons from contesting IOA elections. IOA had objected to this provision saying that Indian law would prevail on these matters.

However, IOC stuck to its stand. It also issued a veiled threat of possible action against IOA, reminding it that it has been under suspension and so should act responsibly to meet the conditions requested by the world body.

"The IOC has never questioned the principle that till one is convicted one is innocent. However the IOC Code of Ethics clearly states that the Olympic parties (which include the NOCs) must undertake to respect and ensure the respect of the IOC Code of Ethics which says in particular that they must not act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement. The IOA (still suspended) must therefore act responsibly and must adopt a clear wording in its revised Constitution," IOC stated in its letter.


Image: General view of out side the International Olympic Committee headquarters
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images
Tags: IOA , IOC

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'The constitution would prevent any person charged by a court'

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"The wording of the proposed provision which reads 'The Law of the land will prevail in all the affairs concerning Indian Olympic Association' cannot be accepted since this would leave aside and undermine the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution," said the letter written by IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper.

"The following (or similar) wording shall therefore be considered: 'The Indian Olympic Association shall be governed in accordance with the IOA Constitution, the Olympic Charter and the Law of the land'.

"As per the IOC provision, the constitution would prevent any person charged by a court in India for any serious criminal/corruption offense (whose situation would therefore tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement) from being eligible for election within the IOA," it said.


Image: Suresh Kalmadi (C), former chief organiser of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, arrives at a court in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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'Hope that gravity of situation has been well understood'

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The IOC proposed that the Constitution would give legal tools to the IOA to act immediately and automatically whenever a member is facing such situations (relating to ethical issues) by taking provisional measures.

"This is exactly the spirit of the proposal made by the IOC in the revised draft circulated yesterday (please refer to articles VIII (1.e) and XVII of the revised draft circulated yesterday). In addition please note that this approach is the one the IOC itself has taken vis-a-vis the IOC members in similar circumstances," the letter read.

"I take this opportunity to underline the fact that the IOA is still currently suspended by the IOC for the reasons clearly indicated in the IOC Executive Board decision of 4 December 2012 notified to the IOA the same day by letter of the IOC President. I hope that the gravity of the situation has been well understood since then and the suspended IOA is now ready to act responsibly and in a unified manner to meet the conditions requested by the IOC."


Image: IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper
Photographs: Mathieu Belanger/Reuters

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Conflict of interest

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The IOC has also suggested IOA "to avoid any potential conflict of interest, the members of the election commission should be elected/appointed by the General Meeting. The alternative solution which might be envisaged is that the members of the election commission would be proposed by the Executive Council subject to ratification by the General Meeting."

IOC also wants the IOA to accept its proposal on the composition of General Body Meeting -- reduction in number of votes of National Sports Federations from three to two and that of state Olympic bodies from two to one.

"It is highly recommended that the proposal put forward by the IOC is implemented. If this cannot be enforced this year, this should be applicable as from the first IOA General Meeting in 2014 and for the future and this should be expressly reflected in the new Constitution to be adopted on 25 August."

The world body, however, re-iterated its view in the revised draft that the IOA may or may not include age and tenure restriction provisions for its office bearers and Executive Committee members.


Image: General view of out side the International Olympic Committee headquarters
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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