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A meeting between Indian officials and their counterparts at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, went well on Tuesday, sources said, as a resolution on the IOA constitutional amendment could reach its conclusion before December. .
Giving an ultimatum to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to hold elections by December or face a ban, the IOC had earlier this month called a joint meeting on Tuesday to “agree on a constructive solution and develop a roadmap.” leading to the election of the IOA.
“The meeting went well. It was a constructive and productive meeting. There is a plan and I think we can get a solution. Let’s see,” a source privy to the development told PTI on condition of anonymity.
read more: Abhinav Bindra said at the IOC-IOA meeting that athletes are suffering from administrative dysfunction, suspension and de-accreditation by the IOA.
On September 22, the Supreme Court allowed IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta and Vice President Adille Sumariwala to attend a meeting with the IOC along with Sports Ministry officials.
The SC also appointed former Supreme Court judge L Nageswara Rao to amend the IOA’s constitution and prepare the electoral college. A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud asked Justice Rao to prepare a road map to amend the constitution and hold elections by December 15.
Meanwhile, shooter Abhinav Bindra, the country’s first individual Olympic gold medalist, attended the meeting and expressed his views.
“…What is unexpected for me is to return to the second meeting on this subject 10 years after the first meeting. A lot has changed in the Indian game in the last ten years and there is not even a little fair,” Bindra said in his statement to the joint meeting.
He was referring to a similar attempt he made when the IOA was banned by the IOC from December 2012 to February 2014.
“I have consulted with many current and retired athletes from many Olympic disciplines and different parts of the country. The recommendations from them are very common.
“I wanted to express the overriding concern of all sportspersons – if there is any administrative lapses the athletes will suffer and will continue to suffer if there is any suspension, de-accreditation or other sanction on the IOA. All this when the athletes have no control or guilt over matters affecting their careers and livelihoods. This agony I hope the issues I raise will help contextualize them. Bindra listed five heads to address this matter, namely: 1. Representation of athletes in governance and declaration of athletes’ rights and responsibilities; 2. Rationalized IOA membership structure, including athlete membership; 3. Checks on governance. and clear accountability structure with reserves; 4. Operational and financial integrity; and 5. Institutional mechanisms for dispute resolution and athlete welfare.
“These matters affect athletes deeply… All emphasis should be placed on ensuring full compliance with the Olympic Charter, IOC ethical standards and basic universal principles of good governance, Indian National Sports Code and applicable law in India. It is important to maintain the integrity of the Olympics and sports movement in India. Having opposed the IOA for a long time, he made some suggestions.
“…restricting the membership structure to allow only NSFs concerned with Olympics/CWG/Asiad to constitute voting members is an important step to ensure accountability. Voting members must comply with the Olympic Charter, the Sports Code and hold the Athletes’ Commission. Others, such as state Olympic associations, may be admitted as members without voting rights.
“Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that full-scale reforms and governance standards are implemented all the way down to the bottom of the pyramid, including having an Athletes’ Commission. Also, individual IOA membership should be made available to a limited number of elite athletes, thereby creating a pathway for retired Olympians and other athletes to join the administration. .The IOA elections were supposed to be held in December last year but could not be held due to amendments in the electoral process.
Last December, the IOA had set up a six-member committee to examine amendments to its constitution before holding elections with the National Sports Code.
In May this year, Narinder Patra was removed as the IOA president after the Delhi High Court revoked Hockey India’s life membership, thereby contesting and winning the apex election in 2017.
Patra later officially resigned as IOA chairman. After his removal by the High Court, Patra issued a statement announcing his decision not to contest the IOA elections.
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