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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Taint no bar: Indian Olympic Association to International Olympic Committee

The IOC's executive body will take the final call on this proposal in two weeks' time.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published: August 26, 2013 3:07:57 am

Rejecting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) clause that tainted and chargesheeted persons be barred from contesting Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) elections,the Indian body proposed on Sunday that only those who have been convicted should be kept away. Also Read: With IOC polls around corner,IOA hopes to buy more time for reforms

The IOC’s executive body will take the final call on this proposal in two weeks’ time. Should the world body agree to it,the new regulations will open a window for the likes of Suresh Kalmadi,Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma — who were arrested in the wake of the Commonwealth Games scam — to stage a comeback when the IOA elections are held in September.

At its Requisition Special General Body Meeting,the majority of IOA members were of the view that only those who have been convicted for two or more years should be barred. Additionally,the IOA has also proposed to constitute an Ethics Commission to decide on such a case where a person has been convicted for less than 2 years.

“We have accepted most amendments proposed by the IOC except the chargesheet clause. We have modified that clause and now only those persons who have been convicted by a court for a jail term of two or more years will not be able to contest elections and will be disqualified. This is the same as in Peoples Representation Act of Parliament,” said S Regunathan,who chaired the meeting.

With IOC member Francisco J Elizalde and its Head of Institutional Relations and Governance in NOC Relations Department Jerome Poivey and Olympic Council of Asia’s Director of Asian Games Haider Farman in attendance,the IOA members stuck to their guns on other issues too.

So while they agreed to introduce both the 70-year age limit and the tenure cap,the latter came with a rider: it won’t be applied retrospectively.

What it means is that the likes of IOA secretary general Randhir Singh,who has been in power for over three terms,can start afresh. Also,while secretaries and treasurers can serve only two terms in succession,they are not required to serve any cooling off period if they want to contest for a different post. The president can serve three successive terms and then can stand for a re-election after a cooling off period of four years.

Meanwhile,with regard to the IOC directive to reduce the voting rights of the national sports federations and the state Olympic bodies from 3 and 2 votes to 2 and 1,the status quo is maintained.

Speaking to the press after the meeting,Elizalde did not commit that Sunday’s deliberation was a step in the right direction but felt that the alternative provided by the IOA for the chargesheet clause could be a way out.

“We are not giving you guarantee that the IOC will accept these changes. We will submit a report from an insider’s perspective as we have witnessed what had gone in the GBM. I hope I come back here again for the elections,” Elizalde said.

Earlier,the day started with members of Clean Sports India protesting against the tainted members. Led by its president Ashwini Nachappa,convener BVP Rao,lawyer Rahul Mehra and former Asian marathon champion Sunita Godara,nearly 40-45 members shouted slogans at the venue of the meeting.

Also,the National Rifle Association of India president (NRAI),Raninder Singh,was asked to leave the meeting. Raja Sidhu,a member,objected to the shooting federation’s right to be part of the process after its election was termed illegal by the Delhi High Court.

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