IOA given October 31 deadline

IOA given October 31 deadline

General`: IOC asserts its position on 'charge-framed individuals' in letter to Indian body

A stern International Olympic Committee (IOC) has conveyed that “given the history and present circumstances” of the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA), they cannot accept any recourse suggested by the latter.

The IOC also cleared the air about the controversial clause related to charge-sheeted individuals not being eligible to contest elections, and explained that what it had always meant was “charge-framed” individuals which pertained to people against whom charges had been framed by a court of law.

The IOC also gave the IOA the fresh deadline of October 31 to hold a General Assembly to further amend its constitution and another General Meeting no later than December 15 to hold elections.

The recommendation of the IOC to include the clause barring the charge-sheeted individuals in IOA’s revised constitution was shot down by the General Body meeting on August 25. The IOA members instead approved a diluted version of the clause according to which the individuals convicted for two years or more would be stopped from being the office bearers.

The IOC Executive Board in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, however, refused to cave in and informed the suspended IOA that unless it went through the entire process as suggested by the IOC the suspension was not going to be lifted.

 “The IOC is well aware of the difference in the Indian legal system between charge-sheeted persons and charge-framed persons and has never requested that the clause initially proposed applies for charge-sheeted persons. Therefore it is reiterated that the initial wording is aimed to apply for anyone charge-framed by a court in India," the IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper wrote to the suspended IOA President, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, in a letter dated September 5.

"The IOC does fully respect the principle that 'until proven guilty, one is innocent'. However, what is at stake is the reputation of the Olympic Movement which must not be tarnished.

“Given the history and the present circumstances, the IOC came to a conclusion that the system proposed by the suspended IOA (which might possibly work in the future) does not give all the necessary guarantees for the moment to achieve the expected results. If a specific result, which would apply automatically or almost automatically, is not included in the revised constitution of the IOA there is a serious risk, in the current context, that the effect is diluted.”

The IOC, made it clear that inclusion of the clause was a “pre-requisite” for it to pass the constitution.  “It is required that the suspended IOA includes the initial wording proposed by the IOC (or a very similar wording which would not dilute the meaning and the expected results and which would be submitted in advance to the IOC) with respect to both charge-framed and convicted individuals,” the letter stated.

"It is highly expected that the suspended IOA will act accordingly and seize this golden opportunity to show its readiness to implement the basic principles of good governance, ethics and integrity which must prevail within the Olympic movement,” the letter said adding it had the backing of Association of national Olympic Committees and the Olympic Council of Asia.