The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed concern over the Indian Olympic Association’s “unfortunate” delay in the appointment of CEO/secretary-general while also urging the IOA to address the issue affecting the country’s wrestling federation by “working closely” with the sport’s world body.
The IOC issued the strongly-worded statement during its executive board meeting on Wednesday, where it also received updates on the situations of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Afghanistan, Guatemala and Sudan besides India.
“NOC of India has been directed on many occasions to finalise the appointment process of the new CEO/Secretary General without any further delay, in accordance with the NOC Constitution, so as to normalise the situation within the NOC.
“Unfortunately, the NOC has yet to complete this process. The IOC continues to monitor this issue,” an IOC statement read.
The IOC has also asked the IOA to co-ordinate with international sports federations to address issues impacting India’s sports federations, namely the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
Indian wrestling has made headlines in the last two months with top grapplers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat leading a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding the arrest of outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The agitating wrestlers have alleged that Brij Bhushan has sexually harassed women grapplers.
“The NOC of India has been requested to liaise and work closely with the International Federations in order to address a number of ongoing issues affecting Indian Sports Federations, in a coordinated manner and in accordance with the rules and directives of the International Federations concerned.
“This includes, in particular, the situation of the Wrestling Federation in India,” said IOC.
The IOC had in March this year also pointed out the delay on the part of the IOA to appoint a CEO without any further delay, while confirming the 2023 IOC session will take place in Mumbai.
As per the new constitution drafted by the Supreme Court-constituted panel and approved by the IOC, the IOA was to appoint a CEO who would perform the functions of the erstwhile secretary-general, within a month after taking charge of the new executive council led by IOA president and former sprinter PT Usha, The new IOA council had taken charge on December 10 but its been more than seven months a CEO hasn’t been appointed by the NOC.
IOA secretary-general Kalyan Chaubey has been discharging the functions of the CEO. The CEO will be an ex-officio member of the IOA Executive Council without voting rights.
Usha had said in March that the IOA had set a criteria for the appointment of CEO but only one applicant had been found worthy of the post. She had said that she needed more applications and the IOA would advertise again for the post.
One of the eligibility criteria for the post of CEO is that the candidate should be a “management professional with an experience of no less than 10 years as the CEO of a company/entity with an annual turnover of no less than Rs 25 crore.” Article 15.3 of the amended IOA constitution also says that “the CEO shall be proposed by a nomination committee comprising the IOA president, chairman of the Athletes’ Commission and one IOC member from India”.
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