IOC sets May 7 date; IOA may toe govt line

IOC sets May 7 date; IOA may toe govt line

IOC sets May 7 date; IOA may toe govt line

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has again invited representatives of the suspended IOA and Sports Ministry for a meeting in Lausanne on May 7, even as a way forward seemed to emerge for the embattled sports movement in the country.

The Sports Ministry accepted the offer for talks but said an agreement should be reached with IOA and National Sports Federations on the contentious Sports Code before going for the joint meeting. Positive signals also emerged on the day with a top IOA official hinting that it was willing to amend its constitution, adopting the age and tenure clauses of the Sports Code.

Responding to Malhotra’s request, IOC’s National Olympic Committee Relations Director Pere Miro said, “It is very surprising that you request our guidance as to what action you should take since we have made it clear since January this year that the only way to find a solution is for all parties to meet, discuss and agree on a roadmap.

“For that purpose we invited you to a meeting in Lausanne and proposed concrete dates. However, you did not reply to our invitation. Now we hereby call for a meeting to be held on 7 May 2013 in Lausanne,” he wrote.

The IOC also requested the IOA to confirm its attendance by April 16. The IOC also wrote a separate letter to the Sports Minister.

“You or the competent bodies of the suspended IOA are requested to confirm your attendance as well as the names and functions of the persons who will form the delegation of the suspended IOA by 16 April at the latest,” he said.

The letter also said that the IOC will invite the Sports Minister Jitendra Singh to attend the meeting. “We will also extend an official invitation to the Sports Minister Mr Jitendra Singh,” it said.

Fruitful discussion

Reacting to the development, Sports Secretary P K Deb said an agreement on the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code was required for any fruitful discussion with the IOC. “We welcome the IOC’s proposal for a joint meeting on May 7 at Lausanne but we need an agreement with the IOA and NSFs on the Sports Code before the meeting,” he said.

Deb said that the IOA and the NSFs don’t need to amend their constitutions to incorporate the provisions of the National Sports Code at the moment.

“It is not possible for the IOA to amend its constitution and incorporate Sports Code before the joint meeting. But we need to go to the joint meeting with an agreement among the Ministry, the IOA and NSFs,” he said.

“If we say that the Sports Code should be incorporated by the IOA before the meeting, the IOC will not agree to that. We have to start the discussion with the IOC and the amendments can be made in the constitution of the IOA later on,” he said.

“Out of 54 NSFs, 53 have accepted the Sports Code in writing. Only Archery Association of India remains, along with the IOA.”

Meanwhile, senior IOA official Tarlochan Singh also said there should be an agreement before going to Lausanne and IOA was willing to amend its constitution.

“Repeated requests for meeting from IOC should not be ignored but before going to Lausanne there should be an amicable agreement between the IOA and Sports Ministry,” he said.

“All the NSFs and IOA senior officials are willing to amend the constitution and bring in those clauses,” he said.

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