Indian Olympic Association President N Ramachandran on Thursday decided not to contest next month’s IOA elections, days after an overwhelming majority in the Executive Council overruled him in his decision to hold the Annual General Body Meeting in Chennai.
Ramachandran had issued a notification last month calling for the elective AGM to be held in Chennai on December 14 but 21 out of the 27 Executive Council members overruled him and shifted the venue to Delhi.
The IOA chief, who is 69 now, had to face the ignominy of agreeing to the shifting of the AGM venue during the Executive Council Meeting at his home turf in Chennai on November 9.
After the Executive Council Meeting in Chennai on November 9, Ramachandran had said that he would take a decision on whether to stand for the presidential election or not. But today, he decided not to contest.
“I wish to inform all of you that contrary to what is being said, it is not my intention to stand for election as president of the IOA in the ensuing elections,” Ramachandran said in a letter addressed to the IOA members.
“I am nearing 70 and I intend to abide by the Constitution of the IOA and the guidelines framed by the International Olympic Association,” he added.
Even if he had contested and won for a second term, he would have to resign next year after reaching 70 as the IOA members have said that it would follow the Sports Code guideline of 70-year age cap for the office bearers.
“I firmly believe that my successor should have a full term of four years and I wish him and the new team all the very best,” he added.
Ramachandran had taken over as president in the elections held in February 2014 which saw India coming out of a 14-month suspension imposed by the IOC for electing charge-framed persons as office bearers.
On November 14, the IOA had set into motion the process of election of its new office bearers for a four-year term with the formal notification of its polls during its AGM here on December 14.
Elections will be held for one post each of the president, secretary-general, treasurer and senior vice president, eight vice presidents, six joint secretaries, 10 other Executive Council members and one representative for the Athlete Commission.
The elections will be held through secret ballot and the results will be declared on the same day. The last date of submission of the nomination of candidates will be on November 29.
SK Mendiratta, advisor to the Election Commission of India, has been appointed as the Returning Officer for the elections. The Election Commission comprises of retired justices RS Sodhi (chairman), MR Calla and SM Sapra.
An observer each from the IOC, Olympic Council of Asia and the government is likely to be present during the elections.