IOC missive warns of IOA suspension at board meeting

In a reminder to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to follow the Olympic Charter when it came to its elections, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday made it clear that it will propose the suspension of IOA in its Executive Board Meeting early next month if the National Sports Code is followed. The National Sports Code puts a cap on the age and tenure of officials.

In a letter written by IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper to IOA acting chief VK Malhotra, the world body rejected IOA's request to send an international delegation to resolve the issue and threatened to initiate the process of suspending the Indian sports body.

The world body reiterated its directive to the IOA as expressed in its letter on November 23 to present its position to the IOC by November 30 or face suspension. IOC in its earlier letter — that was signed by its chief Jacques Rogge and Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah — had warned that India would be suspended if the December 5 elections are held under the government's Sports Code and not under the Olympic Charter.

Malhotra, in a reply to IOC's November 23 letter, had requested the world body to send a delegation to India to resolve the issue. "The IOC and OCA will not send delegates to India at this stage. From your letter of 26 November, we came to the conclusion that the IOA and the Government authorities are unable to rectify the situation in order for the IOA elections to be conducted in line with the Olympic Charter and the IOA Constitution, as required by the IOC," the IOC letter said.

"In view of the above, it is hereby confirmed that a proposal for suspension of the IOA will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4-5 December 2012, based on Rules 27.9 and 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter," the letter said. "As mentioned in the IOC/OCA letter of 23 November, the IOA is invited to provide all necessary explanations and to present its position in writing to the IOC no later than 30 November 2012," it said. The IOC slammed the IOA for continuing with the election process despite its clear communication that such a poll will not be recognised by it and the OCA. "It is therefore extremely surprising and once again contradictory — that you continue to move ahead with the IOA's election process," said the letter whose copies were marked for Rogge and Al Sabah.

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