IOC threatens to suspend Indian Olympic Association over late elections
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) faces the possibility of another international suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) if the organization does not hold elections overdue in the “coming weeks”.
The IOC said it was following the developments “with great concern” in a recent letter to the AIO executive board. Elections were due to take place last December, but were delayed by a court case seeking to amend its constitution in accordance with rules stipulated by the national sports code.
“It is very regrettable to note that multiple legal proceedings have been initiated, which have only caused delays and created unnecessary complications so far,” says the letter from the IOC, which urges the IOA to resolve the situation. and to confirm an election date “without further delay”. delay.”
If the AIO does not hold an election in the coming weeks, the IOC has said it should consider protective measures, “including suspension”. The suspension comes with the cut of IOC funding and a ban on Indian officials from attending Olympic meetings. It would also prevent athletes from competing under the Indian flag in the Olympics.
This is not the first time that the IOA has had problems with the IOC. In late 2012, the IOA received a ban from the IOC following the election of a corrupt official as Secretary General. After voting for new officials, the IOA regained its Olympic status for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Acting President of the AIO Anil Khanna replied to the IOC letter on Saturdaycalling the threat of suspension “premature” and “a bit out of place”.
“What I find a bit inappropriate, however, is a premature warning of suspension without the OCA/OCA giving the OAl a reasonable opportunity,” wrote Khanna, whose presidential nomination last month did not go unnoticed. not yet officially recognized. by the IOC. “The IOA has repeatedly requested a meeting with yourselves, to establish timelines for addressing OCA/OCA concerns. We hope you will kindly give us this opportunity.
Khanna, who was promoted to senior vice president after the Delhi High Court ruled that Narinder Batra could no longer function as President of the AIO, attempted to explain to the IOC why his appointment was legitimate. Batra officially stepped down last Monday and resigned as an IOC member, citing “personal reasons”.
“As a result of the vacancy which has arisen following the resignation of Dr (Narinder) Batra from the position of President of the IOA, the Honorable High Court of Delhi has confirmed my appointment as the Acting President of the IOA, in accordance with the law of the land and the IOA constitution as approved by the IOC,” Khanna replied.
The Indian Football Federation is also facing international suspension, with FIFA setting a September 15 deadline to reform its constitution and hold elections. Moreover, the situation cast a shadow over India’s hosting rights for the Men’s Hockey World Cup in January as Batra also stepped down from his role as head of the International Hockey Federation. Time is running out for the IOA to hold elections for many reasons including the fact that India is set to host the 2023 IOC Session in Mumbai for the first time in 40 years.