IOC gives IOA Sept 25 deadline to inform election date

New Delhi: The simmering war of words between the International Olympic Committee and Indian Olympic Association 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 V K 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. It reiterated that it would send its observer to the IOA elections due next month.

"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 activitiers 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.

The IOC official said that it was not enough for the IOA to simply say that it`s elections would be held in strict compliance with the Olympic Charter and its own constituion.

"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 unabke to inform us openly and transparently of the date om which the Elective General Assembly will be held," the letter said.

Earlier, the IOC had written two letters -- on August 16 and September 11 -- stating that the election process of the IOA would have to be held in strict compliance with the Olympic Charter and under the supervision of the IOC and Olympic Council of Asia.

Miffed at the IOC`s "dictate", Malhotra had shot off a letter to the IOC chief Jacques Rogge, stating that the international body`s decision to supervise its election was not acceptable. Malhotra asked whether elections of other NOCs were also monitored or was it in case of India only.

"I was surprised to receive yet another letter dated dated September 11, 2012 (after the one on August 31) from your office which reads like a dictate. It virtually orders IOA to do things as specified in it," Malhotra wrote in the letter dated September 13.

"I am also amazed to read that IOC and OCA will like to jointly nominate the observers for the elections of IOA. I will like to know whether IOC is sending observers to monitor the elections of all the NOCs or only IOA is being single out. In any case, the idea of IOC-OCA observers may not be acceptable to the IOA," Malhotra had said.

"In its 76-year long history, IOA has been holding elections regularly and these were never monitored by the IOC. IOA represents the world`s largest democracy and second most populous nation in the world. We understand our responsibilities," he said.