To ensure that boxers and coaches remain affected by the Federation’s international termination and de-recognition at home, the IOA on Thursday formed an ad-hoc Committee to handle issues related to coaching and selection in the beleaguered sport.
The first Executive Council meeting of the IOA was held on Thursday, after the lifting of suspension by the IOC, under the chairmanship of N. Ramachandran.
Mr. Ramachandran said the IOA decided to form an ad-hoc committee so that the Indian boxers and coaches’ participation in the international events was not hampered. The move was necessitated by the IABF’s termination by the International Boxing Association and de-recognition by the Sports Ministry.
“The IOA has formed an Ad-hoc Committee, consisting of six members under the chairmanship of Tarlochan Singh, who has years of experience in Olympic movement. The national coach — G.S. Sandhu and India’s representative at the International Boxing Association (AIBA), Kishan Narsi are also in the committee,” said Mr. Ramachandran.
“The committee has been approved by the AIBA and it will be handling all issues like coaching, selection, etc. Since we do not want the boxers to suffer we have formed this committee,” he said.
Asked who will fund the Indian boxers, Mr. Ramachandran replied, “The boxers have to be funded by the government of India. If the Government does not fund them, then the IOA will take a call. But as per natural process, any athlete who aspires to go abroad and train, the government funds him/her.”
Mr. Ramachandran said as soon as AIBA recognises the IABF, the IOA will give it recognition.
“Whenever IABF forms a body, it will apply to the IOA for recognition and as per the Olympic Charter, we will have to give recognition. But that is some time away. AIBA’s recognition has to come first,” he explained.
Mr. Ramachandran also said he had a fruitful meeting with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach at Lausanne, besides having another discussing important issues with President of OCA Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah Al-Fahad at Kuwait.
“The basic things discussed were transparency, accountability and most importantly, the athletes must come first. That’s the mantra of this Indian Olympic Association,” Mr. Ramachandran said.
When asked what the IOA was doing about the athletes’ complaints of not getting proper food supplements with the Commonwealth Games less than four months to go, Mr. Ramachandran said, “Each athlete will have a different viewpoint on each issue. All NSFs have got their long-term development programmes in place, approved by the Government. All these factors are taken into consideration.
“The individuals federations will have to take this responsibility. If any Federation or athlete brings it to the notice of the IOA then we can have discussions with that federation. As of date, no athlete has come to the IOA and has clearly stated in writing anything like this,” he clarified.
During the meeting, a delegation from the Organising Committee of the National Games (Kerala) led by V.M. Gopala, IAS (Secretary — Sports & Transport) Government of Kerala also gave a presentation on the status of preparedness, informed Mr. Ramachandran.
On whether he thought that National Games have become a “joke”, getting postponed time and again for the last four years, Mr. Ramachandran said, “I fully agree that the National Games should be conducted within a time frame.”
“The IOA must ensure that the National Games must be conducted in the given time frame. And if the timeline is not followed then we will cancel the games in that particular state and there is also going to be a major penalty to be paid by the Organising Committee.”
The delegation has requested the IOA to announce the dates for conducting the Games at the earliest. But Mr. Ramachandran said he would have to take into consideration all concerned parties before deciding the dates.
“The date is to be discussed with the Kerala Organising Committee, who are suggesting that it’d be early 2015. I will have to look at the calendar of all the NSFs and there has be an unilateral decision. I will have to consult all the NSFs.”