IOA to complete its election process today

After nearly a 14-month suspension, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has finally got its act together towards returning to the international fold, starting with its elections on Sunday.

The IOA had to make araft of amendments in its constitution ever since its suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on December 4, 2012, because of violation of the Olympic Charter and government interference.

The most significant among the new amendments was the introduction of charge-framed clause, which had sparked vehement protests from the IOA members. The two prominent IOA members, Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot, became its biggest casualties.

Also, the members of three National Sports Federations, which have been suspended by their international bodies, were barred from being part of the Electoral College. The federations were the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, Taekwondo Federation of India and Fencing Association of India.

After amending its constitution as per the IOC diktat and constituting an Electoral College on the new clauses, the IOA, however, has crossed the first hurdle towards the revocation of ban. The smooth conduct of elections will now further boost its chances.

The IOA, divided into two factions, decided against taking any chances this time and went for unanimous choices for all the top posts. The elections, to be conducted by a three-member election commission of the IOA, will now happen only for one of the eight posts of vice-president.

Squash Rackets Federation of India chief N Ramachandran has emerged as the consensus candidate for the IOA president's post. Ramachandran, brother of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N Srinivasan, has been the IOA treasurer since 2008.

Rajeev Mehta and Anil Khanna will be announced the secretary-general and treasurer. In the meeting, the IOA will be making minor amendment to the constitution to bring clarity to the charge-framed clause as demanded by the IOC.

“We will be having three IOC members -- Robin Mitchell, Pere Miro (NOC Relations Director), Jerome Poivey, Head of Institutional Relations in the NOC Relations Department and Olympic Council of Asia Director General, Husain Al Musallam as the observers. We hope after the elections, the suspension on IOA will be lifted soon by the world body,” Reghunathan said.

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