IOC serves ultimatum, warns IOA of de-recognition
New Delhi: International Olympic Committee on Friday served an ultimatum to India, saying that the country will be de-recognised if the Indian Olympic Association does not amend its constitution by December 10 as per the world body`s earlier diktat of barring charge-framed persons from contesting elections.
The IOC rejected suspended IOA`s proposal passed in its October 27 Special General Body Meeting to refer the cases of charge-framed persons to an internal Ethics Commission instead of barring them from contesting elections and asked it to include a clause in its constitution to provisionally suspend them until a final ruling is made.
"This is to follow up on the letter dated 3 November 2013 from Mr Regunathan to IOC President and amendments to the IOA Constitution adopted on 27 October 2013, which we received on 6 November 2013," the letter, written by IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and addressed to IOA officials, said.
"The specific clause which has been included in Article V (ii)(c); XI(1)(g)(iv); and XXII(v) concerning any IOA member charge-framed by a Court in India with respect to an offence which is of serious nature under Indian Penal Code/Prevention of Corruption Act is not satisfactory and does not meet IOC`s requirements expressed in our letter of 5 September 2013.
"It was indeed requested that this clause mention expressly that such members will not be eligible to run for IOA elections and will be provisionally suspended from the IOA until a final ruling is made," said the letter, a copy of which was also marked to IOC chief Thomas Bach and Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.
The IOC said its Executive Board will recommend India`s de-recognition -- which would mean barring of Indian sportspersons from international events, including Olympics and Asian Games -- if the suspended IOA continued to remain adamant on the issue of charge-framed persons being barred from contesting polls.
The IOC is not in a position to approve the new IOA Constitution until the Articles mentioned above are amended accordingly. It's therefore requested that suspended IOA meet again in a General Assembly and adopt these very last amendments as per IOC requirements," the IOC said.
"If these process is not completed successfully prior to the next IOC Board meeting i.e before 10 December 2013, the IOC Executive Board might consider further action against the suspended IOA, including a proposal to withdraw IOC recognition at the next IOC session.
"We hope that the suspended IOA will now take appropriate and responsible action to finalise this process successfully without forcing the IOC to take any further action."
The world body's ultimatum came after its directives were repeatedly sought to be diluted by the officials of the suspended IOA and any deviation from the IOC's diktat could now jeopardise India's participation in international events.
Till now following IOA's suspension on December 4 last, Indian sporstpersons have been allowed participation in international events either under the Indian flag or under the banner of international organisations but once de-recognised, they will not be able to compete in Olympics, Asian Games and other international events organised by international federations.
The IOC had earlier asked the IOA to amend its constitution to bar charge-framed persons from contesting elections by October 31 and hold elections by December 31. But the IOA in its October 27 Special GBM had proposed to refer cases of charge-framed persons to a nine-member Ethics Commission which had five retired High Court justices.
The world body said it has shown "a lot of understanding and patience" in India's case but it will not do so any longer and asked the IOA to simply act accordingly.
"As we have stressed on numerous occasions, you have a collective responsibility, in particular before Indian athletes, to resolve this pending issue rapidly and successfully for general interest of sport in India and beyond any personal interest. The IOC has shown a lot of patience and understanding in this case and will not compromise on the basic principles of good governance, ethics and integrity which must now prevail within the IOA and the Olympic Movement in India."
The IOC, however, said it was satisfied that the IOA has agreed in its Special GBM on October 27 to include a clause in its constitution that any member who was convicted of serious offences under the Indian Penal Code/Prevention of Corruption Act would be removed immediately.
The world body also informed the IOA that it may not be necessary for some of its officials to travel to Lausanne to meet IOC officials as has been decided in the October 27 GBM.
"We have noted the proposal of the suspended IOA to come for a meeting in Lausanne and discuss, again, this pending issue. The IOC would, of course, be ready to welcome a delegation from the suspended IOA; however, all arguments have already been exchanged and heard over the past months. The IOC position in this regard is very clear and has no reason to change. The suspended IOA knows exactly what the IOC is expecting and must simply act accordingly," the IOC letter said.
"In view of this, we do not see ant need for this meeting unless it would serve to confirm that the suspended IOA respects and follows the IOC requirements. In any case, this meeting should not be used to once again delay the process and the final amendments to the IOA Constitution, which must be successfully completed no later than 10 December 2013."
"In view of the above, please inform us of the date on which the General Assembly of the suspended IOA can meet again (before 10 December 2013) to adopt the latest amendments required by the IOC and please let us know if the suspended IOA still finds it necessary to send a delegation to Lausanne."