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SBD Global/September 6, 2013/Olympics

IOC Rejects Indian Olympic Association's Election Clause For Tainted Officials

The IOC warned India Thursday that "it would remain suspended from the movement until it agreed to exclude tainted officials from office," according to the AFP. The IOC has been trying to persuade the Indian Olympic Association "to amend its constitution to prevent officials who face corruption or other criminal charges from standing for election." Suspension from the IOC "means India does not receive funding from it and Indian officials cannot attend Olympic events, while athletes are barred from competing in the Olympics under the national flag." The IOA, which has been suspended since December, "has so far agreed to bar only those officials who have been convicted." But following a meeting of its exec board in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, the IOC said that "it would not endorse fresh elections for the leadership of the IOA until it amended an eligibility clause" (AFP, 9/5). The PTI reported the IOA had proposed a compromise formula to the IOC's directive "asking it to bar charge sheeted persons from contesting elections." According to the IOA proposal, "the sanction will apply only to those officials who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years." But the IOC "stood firm on its stand" during its exec board meeting on Wednesday ahead of the 125th IOC session. In a statement on its website, the IOC said, "This clause, which deals specifically with the eligibility of members, is key to the good governance of the NOC and needs to be fully accepted before the suspended IOA can proceed with the elections. An official notification of the IOC’s position will be sent to the IOA" (PTI, 9/5).

'NOTHING NEW': The PTI also reported Indian Sports Minister Jitendra Singh backed the IOC's decision to stick to its stand on the chargesheet clause "and urged the IOA to incorporate the required amendments in its constitution so that the interest of country's sportspersons do not suffer." Singh said, "There are certain issues IOC is insisting on. One of the major ones is ethics and good governance. So, I hope better sense prevails and the IOA incorporate some of the changes, which the IOC has suggested. I don't think there should be a problem in incorporating these changes because it is a part of the Olympic Charter. It is nothing new that the IOC is saying" (PTI, 9/5). IANS reported two-time Olympic Medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar feels that the suspended IOA "should accept the terms and conditions." Kumar said that "charge-sheeted officials should stay away from the administration of Indian sports and IOA for the sake of Indian athletes." Kumar: "The IOA should accept all the terms and conditions set down by the IOC for the sake of Indian athletes. When the whole world is accepting the IOC charter, why shouldn't we? What is the harm in keeping out charge-sheeted individuals?" (IANS, 9/5).

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