Wearing a triumphant smile on his arrival from Laussane on Thursday morning, Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) would be back in Olympic fold within two months.
During the Indian delegation’s meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials on Wednesday, Jitendra Singh had played a crucial role by giving his “commitment” to the apex Olympic body that the Government had “no interest to interfere” in the functioning of the sports bodies and only wanted to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance in the sports bodies.
The Minister termed the positive development the “victory for the country” and “its sportspersons”.
“The IOC has paved the way to lift the suspension on the IOA. Now, Indian sportspersons will be able to join the Olympic Movement.
“A roadmap (to end the stalemate) has been drawn in consultation with delegates of the National Sports Federations (NSFs), the IOA and the IOC,” said the Minister at a press conference here.
The Minister said the whole process of amending the IOA constitution (in order to bring it in conformity with the Sports Code) and holding its elections as per the amended constitution should be completed within 60 days following which the IOC would revoke the suspension.
The IOA will have to call its extraordinary annual general meeting to amend the constitution.
“The meeting will nominate one or two persons who, with an IOC observer, will work for the election process,” said Jitendra Singh. He added that the IOC would decide all the modalities in this regard.
The Minister, however, claimed that no relaxation had been made in the Sports Code, especially the age and tenure clause, to make the IOA reach an agreement before the Indian delegation’s meeting with the IOC officials in Lausanne. “There was no relaxation in Sports Code. We discussed the Sports Code with the IOC which felt the code was in conformity with the Olympic Charter.”
Jitendra Singh said even though no individual name was discussed during the meeting, the IOC stressed on ethics in the functioning of the IOA.
Underlining the importance of accountability in the NSFs, which had been taking grants from the Government, the Minister said in future funding would be performance related and would depend on how many medals a sport produced.
The Minister said now the Government would focus on the Sports Bill, being prepared by Justice Mukul Mudgal.
“It has been agreed that we will work along with the IOC on the proposed Bill.
There will be provisions for an independent Election Commission, dispute redressal mechanism and good governance. The first draft will be out by June 30.
“We will invite opinions from all sections of people to make it better,” he said.