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IOC clarifies stand on constitution

K.P. Mohan

NEW DELHI: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has clarified that a National Olympic Committee (NOC) was within its rights to take decisions specific to a country while meeting the mandatory requirements imposed by it regarding constitutional provisions.

The clarification, in response to a query posed by The Hindu, has come from the IOC Media Relations chief, Emmanuelle Moreau.

The question related to the recent IOC approval of the redrafted IOA constitution that was adopted by its General Assembly at Ranchi, continuing to give voting rights to State Olympic associations, as against the wishes of the IOC, as made known last July.

The IOC had then demanded that the IOA amend its constitution in such a way as to give voting rights only to the National Sports Federations, IOC members and Athletes Commission representatives, as was the general practice.

It was also suggested that State Olympic associations could be included as Associate members without voting rights.

Unexpected twist

An unexpected last-minute twist at Ranchi seemed to have restored the status of the State associations, numbering 30, along with Union Territories, numbering three, as voting members.

“These revised statutes are in line with the Olympic Charter and the ‘Basic universal principles of good governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement' that were endorsed at the Olympic Congress in 2009 in Copenhagen,” Ms. Moreau explained in an e-mailed communication.

“Beyond the mandatory requirements imposed by the IOC — requirements that must be included in all NOCs' statutes worldwide — the NOC was free to take the decisions it deemed appropriate taking into account the specificities of the country, the organization of sport in the country, etc., and which the IOC fully respects,” Ms. Moreau stated.

The IOA now has a provision to include two Athletes Commission representatives in its General Assembly and one in its Executive Council.

It is significant that the IOC has mentioned ‘universal principles of good governance' since the same had been quoted by the Sports Ministry in its proposed draft legislation on sports as the basis of its proposals that could curtail the autonomy of the IOA and the federations.

The IOC had repeatedly stated that it would not approve of any attempt to erode the autonomy of the NOC or the Olympic Movement.

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