IOA passes amended constitution in SGM

Faced with the suspension threat from the International Olympic Committee coupled with the directives of the Supreme Court, the IOA has no other way but to bring the changes to its constitution.

FILE PHOTO: Anurag Thakur, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, with IOA’s acting president Anil Khanna and secretary general Rajeev Mehta during the CWG 2022 kit unveiling in July 2022.

FILE PHOTO: Anurag Thakur, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, with IOA’s acting president Anil Khanna and secretary general Rajeev Mehta during the CWG 2022 kit unveiling in July 2022. | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Faced with the suspension threat from the International Olympic Committee coupled with the directives of the Supreme Court, the IOA has no other way but to bring the changes to its constitution.

The amended constitution of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) did meet stiff resistance from the aggrieved parties, the state Olympic associations which have lost their voting rights, but the Special General Meeting (SGM) of the IOA approved the same on Thursday, and it is set to be presented to the Supreme Court.

Once that is done, the election process is expected to be put in motion immediately.

“The amended constitution has been approved by the house as per the Supreme Court order. There were some minor changes suggested and we will submit it before the Supreme Court”, said the secretary general of IOA, Rajeev Mehta.

“We discussed the points in teh ouse and majority were in favour of the amendments. We have taken the majority from the national sports federations in the Olympic programme”, he added.

As per the amended constitution, the election for the Executive Council will be held for the posts of president, one senior vice president, two vice presidents, treasurer, two joint-secretaries, six other executive members apart from two representatives nominated by the Athletes Commission.

The post of the secretary general has been removed and in that place there will be a professional Chief Executive Officer, a person with management experience, nominated by the president, IOC member and the Chairperson of the Athletes Commission. The CEO will not have a vote.

In the revised constitution, the office bearers can have only three terms of four years each, with a cooling off period of four years. Also, an office bearer can have only a maximum of two terms in a post. And nobody above 70 years will be eligible to hold any post.

Earlier, the IOA enjoyed a flexible five-term option for its office bearers, even though it was different for the National Sports Federations.

National Federations that have their sport in the Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games will have membership of the IOA with voting rights of two each, with one male and one female. The IOC member will also have a vote.

With most of the federations not having women representation as yet, it has been felt important to seek a time frame to implement this process in future elections.

National sports federations of other sports and indigenous games will continue to enjoy membership of the IOA without voting rights.

There will be eight sports persons of outstanding merit, four male and four female, apart from two Olympians to be nominated by the Athletes Commission, with voting rights.

The State Olympic Associations are believed to have sought at least two combined votes for their overall representation. There will be clarity on the road ahead once the Supreme Court takes up the matter.

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