Hold fresh elections to get suspension lifted: IOC tells IOA

Lausanne, May 15 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Wednesday asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to hold free and fair fresh elections if it wants its suspension to be revoked.

The IOC Wednesday held a meeting with the Indian delegation headed by the Minister of State for Sports Jitendra Singh and representatives from the National Sports Federations (NSF), who are also members of the suspended IOA. A representative of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) was also in attendance.

The IOC Executive Board suspended the IOA Dec 4 last year due to its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and as a protective measure against government interference in IOA’s election process.

“The main purpose of today’s meetings was to explore the possibility for the suspended IOA to hold free, fair, democratic and transparent elections on the basis of a revised IOA constitution and the Olympic Charter, with no outside interference, that could pave the way for the IOC to consider lifting its suspension of the IOA,” said an IOC statement.

The IOC added that they are considering necessary measures to be taken by IOA for getting the suspension removed.

“It is envisaged that the IOA should hold an extraordinary meeting of its members to review its constitution in order to improve its governance and ethics. This would be followed by a fresh general meeting to elect the new office-bearers of the IOA, based on the newly revised constitution and the Olympic Charter,” added the statement.

The entire process will be closely monitored and supervised by the IOC, which will issue a roadmap for the suspended IOA and all its members to follow.

According to the statement, Jitendra Singh gave strong guarantees and a clear commitment that the government of India will fully respect the principle of autonomy of the Olympic Movement.

In addition, a mutual understanding was reached to establish close cooperation between all parties concerned. It was agreed in particular that the drafting of the new sports bill will be undertaken in close coordination with the IOA and the NSFs, and with prior consultation with the IOC to ensure that it will be fully compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Movement.

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