Indian Olympic Association – A Global Shame

18 Nov

Suresh Kalmadi, tainted Indian Olympic Association PresidentThe Indian political system, famous for all wrong reasons among Indians is now making news internationally as well. A major confrontation between the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is on just days before the elections of IOA.  IOC has rejected the decision to hold the upcoming elections of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) under Sports Code of the Government and made it clear that the polls will have to be held exclusively under the Olympic Charter and the IOA constitution. The IOA-appointed Returning Officer, Justice (Retd) V K Bali had notified that the November 25 polls will be held under the Sports Code of Government but IOC said that this was “unacceptable” as it would violate the Olympic Charter and autonomy of National Olympic bodies.

IOC closely wants to monitor the upcoming elections of the IOA in the wake of IOC’s Ethics Commission barring tainted Suresh Kalmadi and his two close aides (Lalit Bhanot, VK Verma) from contesting in the polls. This response from IOC came after the former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi sent a note to IOC concerning the IOA elections. The IOA had appointed a three member committee headed by Quraishi and two former judges of High court- Justice JD Kapoor and Justice Bali to oversee the upcoming elections. The resignation of SY Quraishi as chairman of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) election committee on November 17, 2012 has further raised question marks on the authenticity of IOA elections.

Chairman of the IOC Ethics Commission, Youssoupha Ndiaye has said “In view of this analysis of the facts, the IOC Ethics Commission is of the opinion that it should recommend that Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot be suspended from all their functions within the IOA until the final decision by the competent court in India”. All the three Suresh Kalmadi, VK Verma and Lalit Bhanot were jailed and subsequently released on bail in connection with the Commonwealth Games corruption scandal. Kalmadi was the chairman of the Organising Committee while Bhanot was the Secretary General. Verma was one of the Director Generals of the Organising Committee.

It’s really a shame that after being proven guilty Kalmadi and Bhanot are still listed as president and Joint Secretary on IOA’s website(http://www.olympic.ind.in/organisation.html). Lalit Bhanot has even filed his nomination for the post of Secretary General of the IOA. No wonder IOC doesn’t want the corrupt Indian politics to defame and hurt the reputation of the International Olympic Committee.