In what could spell more trouble for India, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has written to all international Olympic sports federations to investigate the situation in India in respect of the affiliated National federations and report back to it.
In the worsening relationship with India, the IOC’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) Relations Director, Pere Miro, jointly with the IOC Sports Director and officials of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) wrote on December 13 to the presidents and secretary-generals of all the international Olympic sports federations.
The letter pointed out that the IOC had suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) recently and had been receiving queries from various international federations (IFs) seeking guidance in order to approach “this situation in a coordinated and consistent manner”.
Except for the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) no other international federation has taken any action against the concerned National federation in India, based on the IOC action to suspend the IOA.
The AIBA action also has now been restricted to seeking re-elections to the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) apart from denying invitation / accreditation to officials other than coaches atinternational competitions.
At least two international federations (in athletics and hockey) had responded to queries from The Hindu in recent days to confirm that their sport was not affected at the moment by the IOC suspension ofIOA.
The World Archery Federation (FITA) on the other hand had recognised the election of Vijay Kumar Malhotra as the newly-elected president of the Archery Association of India (AAI) and stated that the elections were conducted as per the AAI constitution.
FITA had informed the IOC also that it was satisfied with the conduct of the elections.
The AIBA has, in contrast, sought explanations from the IABF about its elections last September and told the Indian body that fresh elections should be held as per IABF rules and AIBA provisions, meaning there cannot be restrictions imposed according to the Union Government guidelines.
The latest IOC letter, a copy of which had been sent to Randhir Singh, IOC member in India, is a clear attempt to mount further pressure on India for invoking government regulations and laws in regulating thefunctioning of the federations.
It has asked each international federation to examine the situation of its Indian federation, in particular whether the National Sports Federation (NSF) is affected by “government interference” in its internal operations (“and the potential implications of the ‘Sports Code’ and/or any other government regulations over the national federation”); whether the NF was in a position to exercise its activities in accordance with its own statutes, whether the NF complies with the basic principles of good governance.
The international federations were told to consider “appropriate action or measure if necessary” depending on the result of the investigation and assessment made by each IF.
The consolation for the beleaguered IOA and the NSFs could be in the last portion of the letter where the IOC acknowledges that the “IFs remain independent in their decision making”.
The IFs had been advised to report back on measures contemplated or might have already been taken, against Indian NSFs.