The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is keen to instil a sense of commitment amongst all National Sports Federations (NSF).

Speaking to delegates of the 37th National convention of the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India here on Friday, IOA President N. Ramachandran said that it was high time to ensure transparency and greater accountability in the functioning of the NSFs.

“We need to change. We are 50 years behind when compared to the other nations and with this in mind I have already advocated the use of technological advances for bettering the performances of our athletes.

“As a start I have proposed the introduction of video analysis in all our sports federations. The IOA is already in consultation with majors in the field and once the tie-ups are finalised, the facility would be provided to the federations free of cost.

“It would be the duty of the federations to pick the top four athletes of each section as the beneficiaries of this new initiative,” he said.

He also stressed on the importance of NSFs adopting best practises in the field of administration. “We also want the Federations to involve the athletes in the decision making process to ensure greater credibility,” he added.

Mr. Ramachandran added that he was determined to see IOA, which even otherwise is financially sound, to emerge stronger and help cut down on government funding in the long run.

“The IOA should be independent of Government support in terms of seeking funds for its various activities. We have a clear cut vision in this regard and once we achieve it, the IOA would then be able to provide financial assistance to the various national sports federations,” he said.

“The Executive Committee of the IOA has not discussed about hosting the 2019 Asian Games. So, it is unfair for me to comment,” he said.

Mr. Ramachandran also insisted that the IOA would not back away from its commitment to the IOC on implementing the new WADA code.

“The National Games are important for they enable the respective host State to have world class infrastructure which an individual sports body or the IOA cannot build.

“For instance, in Tamil Nadu, all the infrastructure that we have now came up because of the 1995 SAF Games,” Mr. Ramachandran said.

As regards the conduct of the 37th National Games, the IOA president said various issues were being sorted out with the Kerala government and the exact dates would be announced shortly.

“Yes, we are in discussion with the Kerala Government to see that besides medals, there are cash prizes too for the medallists. After all, the athletes look for money and not just the medals alone,” he added.

“Enough has been said about boxing. I can only say that we have formed an ad hoc panel, approved by the international body, to ensure that boxers train abroad and take part in international events under the national tricolour,” the IOA president said.

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