The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set July 15 as the deadline for holding the extraordinary meeting of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to review its constitution and ensure that all standards of good governance and ethics are effectively addressed and implemented in the new constitution.

In a letter issued on Friday, and addressed to the Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh and the suspended IOA headed by Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the IOC director-general Christophe de Kepper stated that, “the proposals for amendments will come from the membership of the suspended IOA and from the IOC. These amendment proposals will be closely coordinated between the IOC member in India, the IOC administration and a representative of the sports federation members of the suspended IOA.”

It was also mentioned that the next step would be to form an independent election commission comprising three members who would be in charge of conducting the whole election process, before and during the Elective General Assembly, under the supervision of the IOC.

The deadline for holding the Elective General Assembly has been fixed as September 1, and the election, based on the newly-revised constitution and the Olympic Charter, and held “in a free, fair and transparent manner”, would be placed under the supervision of the IOC.

“The entire process will be closely monitored by the IOC with the support of the OCA”, so that once the election is held successfully, “the IOC would be in a position to consider lifting the suspension of the IOA”.

While thanking all the parties concerned for the fruitful meeting in Lausanne on May 15 and subsequent consultations, the IOC stressed, “we count on everyone’s cooperation in respecting and implementing this roadmap in the best interest of sport and the athletes in India. We sincerely hope that with this process (i) a fruitful relationship and partnership will be established between the Government of India and the sports organisations, and (ii) the IOA will now meet and apply all standards of good governance and ethics which are required to belong to the Olympic Movement”.

Recalling the assurance of the Indian Government to respect the autonomy of the Olympic Movement in India, the IOC clarified that “close cooperation and coordination between the Government authorities and the sports organisations shall be established for the benefit of the development of sport and the athletes in India, with mutual understanding and respect for the jurisdiction of each entity. To this effect, the drafting of the new Sports Bill will be undertaken in close coordination with the IOA and the National Federations, and with consultation with the IOC to ensure that it is fully compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Movement”.

Quite interestingly, the State Olympic Associations will be voting on the constitutional amendments of the IOA that would take away their voting rights, as directed by the IOC which wants only the National Sports Federations to have voting power.

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