Miffed IOC warns IOA of stern action

 The simmering war of words between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) intensified with the IOC slamming the IOA for refusing to accept an observer for its upcoming elections and threatened to take action if poll date is not furnished by September 25.

In a strongly worded letter, in response to a September 13 missive by IOA acting president VK Malhotra in which he had termed the world body’s decision to send an observer as ‘unacceptable’, the IOC said that such a supervision was necessary owing to the ‘confusion surrounding the status of Suresh Kalmadi’.

“The IOC and OCA are extremely astonished by the content of your letter and by the fact that you do not seem to understand that the internal situation of your NOC is not as smooth and normal as you want to depict it.

“Should we remind you that, despite our numerous and repeated requests, you and your NOC were unable to take any clear decision vis-a-vis situation of Mr Kalmadi with much confusion surrounding the status, powers and decisions of your NOC Ethics Commission in this affair,” the letter addressed to Malhotra said.

“We urge you once again to respond transparently and openly to all the questions which we have raised in our previous communications. If we do not receive any clear and satisfactory answers within a deadline of one week maximum, we will immediately produce a report for the IOC Executive Board for appropriate action,” the letter dated September 18 and signed by NOC Relations Director Pere Miro said.

“In particular, we expect (i) a clear answer to the simple question of the date of which the Elective General Assembly of the IOA is expected to take place and (ii) a clarification of the composition of the General Assembly with respect to the principle of the voting majority for the national federation affiliated to the IFs governing sports on the programme of the Olympic Games,” it said.

The IOC just stopped short of calling IOA’s refusal to accept the observer in its September 13 letter written by Malhotra to the IOC chief as disrespectful to the world body.

“In view of the fundamental principles which govern the organisation of Olympic movement, and which you should be well aware of, it is therefore extremely surprising (not to say disrespectful) that you question the fact that the IOC (and OCA in this case) have the right to send observers to attend your NOC Elective General Assembly.

“The IOC (and OCA) can verify and monitor at any time that NOCs are exercising their activities and duties responsibly and in accordance with the Olympic Charter. Fortunately the IOC (and OCA) does not have to send observers in all NOC elections because — thankfully — the majority of the NOCs are not confronted with such issues. But in your specific case, we inform you that the IOC (and OCA) have decided to send observers to your upcomimg NOC elections due to this confused and unclear situation,” the letter said.

“In accordance with the Olympic Charter, the term of the office bearers of your NOC is expected to expire no later than 10 October 2012 but you and your NOC are still unable to inform us openly and transparently of the date on which the Elective General Assembly will be held,” the letter said.

Malhotra said he has written a letter to the IOC that the Executive Board of the IOA would meet in New Delhi on September 24 to decide on all the issues raised by the world bodies.

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