NEW DELHI: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has begun the process to derecongise the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) over the Indian government's interference in the IOA's imminent elections.
The IOC has given time to the IOA to clarify its stand by November 30, failing which the IOA could be suspended.
Last Friday (November 23), the IOC shot off a letter to the IOA informing it that a proposal to suspend the IOA will be presented to the IOC's executive board at its next meeting on December 4-5, unless the current situation is rectified.
The IOC wrote: "For more than two years, the IOC has expressed severe concerns about government interference in the IOA's upcoming election process. There is also concern over information only recently provided by the IOA that its elections would be conducted based on government regulations rather than the IOA's constitution and the Olympic Charter."
The IOC has taken objection to this and said: "Should this be the case, and as previously warned, the results of such elections would not be recognised by the IOC."
The international sports body said that its position had been made clear to all parties concerned on numerous occasions, but the IOA has been unable to resolve these pending issues satisfactorily.
"The IOA has also failed to keep the IOC informed in a timely manner or ensure close coordination. For these reasons, the IOA is now at risk of suspension by the IOC, a matter that will be discussed at the next IOC executive board meeting," the IOC's letter to the IOA said.
IOC president Jacques Rogge and Olympic Council of Asia chief Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah have in letters to Malhotra and secretary general Randhir Singh sought "a clear written guarantee" from the IOA that the election will be held strictly on the basis of the Olympic charter and the IOA's constitution.
The IOA has, however, said that the only point of difference between the Olympic Charter and the Sports Code is the age and tenure clause. The rest of the election norms, according to it, are exactly the same.
The IOC letter goes on to say that "we understand that the IOA strongly condemns those government regulations and government interference in IOA's election process. However, the IOA seems to continue developing its election process on the basis established by the government regulations. The situation is, therefore, extremely confusing, not to say contradictory".
The IOC letter further stated that "we inform you that a proposal for suspension of your NOC will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on December 4-5, 2012 based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter".
Making it clear that the process of elections under the Government of India sports code would be unacceptable, IOC president Jacques Rogge and his Olympic Council of Asia counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said the violation of Olympic Charter would not be tolerated.