The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) “approved” the amended constitution while suggesting some changes at its Special General Meeting here on Thursday.
“The amended constitution has been approved by the house as per the Supreme Court order. There were some minor changes suggested and we will submit it before the Supreme Court,” IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said after a chaotic SGM.
The Supreme Court has directed that elections to the IOA be held on December 10. There were objections raised by the State Olympic Associations (SOA) who have lost their voting rights. Besides the National Sports Federations (of Olympic/Asian/Commonwealth Games), two representatives of the Athletes Commission, eight sportspersons of outstanding merit (SOM), and Member(s) of IOC in India will be eligible to cast their vote at the AGM.
A proposal was given to include two SOA representatives in the Executive Council. It has been recommended that two eminent sportspersons (SOM) in the executive council should be replaced by SOA representatives since there is already a representation of sportspersons through the Athletes Commission.
There were also changes sought in the tenure clause that is now fixed to three terms, with a cooling-off period, for the office bearers. Besides, the house recommended changes in the criteria for appointing IOA’s first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“As per the objections from state Olympic bodies regarding their voting rights, the house has given them a proposal that we can allow two members representatives from SOA in the executive body and proposed the same to SC,” said Mehta.
The new draft constitution has been prepared by Justice L Nageswara Rao after consultations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), IOA, and government representatives. To this effect, a meeting was held in IOC headquarters in Lausanne on Sept 27 where Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra was also present as an athlete representative.
“On tenure restrictions, what was confirmed after discussion was 12 years for President and Secretary without a cooling-off period. We stand by the IOC letter and we have suggested this change to SC,” he said.
The IOA constitution earlier allowed five consecutive terms or 20 years, whichever was less. Under the new constitution, the office-bearers can have only three terms of four years each, with a cooling-off period after two consecutive terms.
The new constitution allows for more representation of sportspersons and female administrators in the Executive Council (EC). The EC of the IOA will constitute 14 members, of which at least four members will be women. The NSFs have to nominate one male and female representative for voting in the general assembly.
With regard to the appointment of the CEO, it was suggested that the criteria of selection should be left to the EC. As per the criteria set in the constitution, “the CEO must be a person who is a management professional with management experience of at least 10 (ten) years as the CEO of a company/entity with a turnover of at least rupees 25 crores.”
Gopichand attends SGM
Pullela Gopichand, who is vice-president of the Badminton Association of India, attended the meeting. Former long jumper Anju Bobby George, winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan and former tennis player and Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal were also present in the meeting.