The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken exception to government regulations affecting the process of elections to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) scheduled for November 25.
In a letter addressed to the Acting President of the IOA, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, and the IOA Election Commission Chairman, S.Y. Quraishi the IOC said that it was concerned the “so-called provisions governing the elections in the sports code of the Government of India would be applicable for the IOA elections”.
The letter, written jointly by the IOC NOC Relations Director, Pere Miro, and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Director General Husain Al-Musallam, has said that this would be against the Olympic Charter and would not be acceptable to the IOC / OCA.
The letter said that the IOA elections must be conducted on the basis of the Charter and the current constitution and by-laws of the IOA as approved by the IOC without any government interference.
The Sports Code of the Government bars an office-bearer who is above 70 years from contesting. It also prohibits an office-bearer from seeking re-election after two terms of four years each.
For the post of president there is a restriction of three terms. Malhotra has written to the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, to state that the sports code provisions were inserted because of a High Court order and it would be up to the election commission to deal with the matter.
Meanwhile, with the nominations closing on Friday, the main contenders, as expected, had filed their nominations, according to sources. For the post of president, IOA Secretary-General Randhir Singh and former Indian Amateur Boxing Federation President Abhay Singh Chautala are the main contenders who have filed their nominations.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) Secretary-General Lalit Bhanot and Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) Secretary-General, K. Murugan, are the main contestants for the post of secretary-general.
Bhanot said that he had a right to contest since nothing had been proved against him in the ongoing court case related to the last Commonwealth Games and he had the support from a large number of IOA representatives.
The IOC Ethics Commission had recommended to the IOC Executive Board that Bhanot, along with Suresh Kalmadi, IOA President, and V.K. Verma, be barred from contesting the elections.
Withdrawal of nominations is scheduled to be gone through from Nov. 17 to 20.