IOC needs a revamp too

The exclusion of wrestling from the list of 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympics has exposed the IOC's shortcomings and shows the body isn't free from politicking after all. Behind the exclusion of one of the oldest Olympic sports from the Games lie issues like the lack of transparency and accountability within the IOC.

There have been widespread calls for the IOC to have clear and distinct rules for all the procedures that directly or indirectly involve financial dealings, sponsorships and key decisions relating to choosing a venue or host city. Hospitality and gifts the IOC members receive and the election process of the members are other areas where transparency is necessary.

Out of its 115 members, only 45 are directly related to Olympic sports. The rest are individually appointed members who are influential in their respective countries who get IOC's work done 'diplomatically'. As an IOC member once said, if you need to know which part of the world still has princes, princesses and kings, then all you need to do is to go through the list of members of the IOC.

It's hard to believe the decision taken by the 'democratically elected' Executive Board is purely on the basis of the report by IOC's program commission reviewing the London Olympics. In the run up to the Games, the IOC boasted how every sport had been a sell-out well in advance. How come then wrestling, all of a sudden, had less spectators than modern pentathlon and hockey?

A post on the website of the New York Times stated how the decision could have been influenced by the marketing committee of the IOC and their attempt to include a sport that will attract more TV viewers, leading to a bigger pay-check from the broadcasters.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, an IOC member since 1999, recently said the organisation handles its finances like a house wife. "She receives some money and she spends some can't ask her for accounts," Blatter had said. It's about time that the house wife gets the house in order.

(Mihir is a senior correspondent based in Mumbai)

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