IOA to call Special GBM on July 11 or 12 to amend constitution

New Delhi: The crucial Special General Body Meeting of the Indian Olympic Association which will amend its Constitution as per the Olympic Charter and set the ball rolling for fresh elections is likely to be held on July 11 or 12 here.

The International Olympic Committee had set a July 15 deadline for amendment of the IOA Constitution so that the elections are held by September 1 to pave the way for lifting the ban on India imposed on December 4 last.

It is learnt that IOC representatives are arriving in India on July 11 and indications are that the GBM will also be called on that day or a day later.

"IOC representatives are arriving on July 11 and we have to call the GBM before July 15," a top IOA told PTI.

More than two thirds of National Sports Federations and state Olympic associations have authorised Abhey Singh Chautala, the president of the suspended IOA, to call the Special GBM in a meeting of the NSFs, the IOA and state units on June 2.

According to sources, Chautala is expected to announce the date of the GBM in a few days as 15 days prior notice is required to call the crucial meeting. It`s also learnt that Chautala is waiting for a go-ahead from the IOC.

"72 per cent of total number of NSFs and state Olympic units have written back to the president (Chautala) saying that they have accepted the proposal for the amendment of IOA Constitution. We have sent the proposed amendments to the IOC as desired by them (IOC)," IOA joint secretary Rakesh Gupta said.

"The IOC has sent the acknowledgement of our letter, saying that they are studying the matter and will revert soon. We are waiting for the IOC`s response so that we can call the GBM," he added.

A requisition from two-third of the members of the NSFs and state units is required for a GBM to be called.

Asked if there was any opposition from some quarters as not all the NSFs and state Olympic units have informed in writing about their acceptance of the amendments to the IOA Constitution, Gupta replied in the negative.

"It`s true not all NSFs and state units have not written back to us. But that does not mean they are opposed to the amendment of IOA Constitution. We asked the NSFs and state units to express their position. More than two-thirds have done that and that is enough under the Constitution for us to proceed further," he said.

While also amending the IOA Constitution, the GBM will also take some crucial decisions, including the appointment of an independent Election Commission and announcement of the poll process leading to the elections of new office bearers.

The current office bearers of the suspended IOA, led by Chautala, are not recognised by the IOC as the elections held on December 5 last were declared "null and void" by the world body.

The IOC had imposed a ban on India on December 4 last on the ground of government interference and after a prolonged negotiation among the stakeholders, including the Sports Ministry, a blueprint was agreed upon in a meeting in Lausanne on May 15 to pave the way for India`s re-admission to the Olympic family.

Under the blueprint, the IOA was directed to amend its Constitution before July 15 and hold elections for new office bearers by September 1.

As for the contentious Sports Code whose application was the main issue in the whole controversy, the IOC said that the new Sports Bill being drafted by the government will be done in close coordination with IOA and NSFs and with consultation with IOC "to ensure that it is fully compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Movement."