Statement of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on IOA

Statement of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on IOA

Government has decided not to deal with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as the National Olympic Committee until Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Singh Chautala, both of whom have been charge-sheeted,resign or are removed from the posts of Life President in IOA.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Union Minister of State(Independent Charge)for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Vijay Goel in New Delhi today which was attended by Senior Officers of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports including Union Sports Secretary, Shri Injeti Srinivas.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is of the firm view that the action of IOA is against the principles of ethics and good governance as laid down by International Olympic Committee (IOC). The action is also in contravention of principles laid down in various judgments by the Supreme Court of India and High Courts wherein they have maintained that NOC/NSFs perform state like functions, including selection of national teams and therefore they come within the writ jurisdiction of High Court and are governed by public law. The Ministry is of the view that IOA being the mother sports body is required to maintain the highest standards of probity and good governance and stand as a role model for others to emulate. But they have failed to do so.

The Ministry has consistently been opposing creation of posts in IOA and other sports bodies which allow back-door entry to individuals who are otherwise ineligible, including those charge sheeted/ convicted, to hold positions as office-bearers as per the provisions of Sports Code.

It may be recalled that when IOC suspended IOA in December, 2012, one of the reasons was IOA’s failure to enforce the basic principles of ethics and good governance. Subsequent to this, IOA had to amend its constitution whereby it, inter-alia, inserted a clause to prohibit the persons who have been convicted and/or charge sheeted, from contesting elections. Therefore, the persons who cannot contest election for any post in IOA cannot also hold the post of Life President even without any voting or executive powers or even on honorary basis.The substantive point emerging from the present action of IOA is that it not only violated the condition imposed by IOC for lifting of the suspension, but also violated its own constitution.

It is also reiterated that as per the ruling of Hon’ble Supreme Court, sports is a public good and sports governance is a public function and therefore sports bodies are subject to public law. Given the above mentioned principle enunciated by the Hon’ble Apex Court, IOA does not have the liberty to act as a private body and take decisions contrary to public law.

Government after careful consideration has decided to issue a show cause notice to IOA as to why it should continue to be recognized as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) when it has failed to conform to the basic principles of ethics and good governance. This is considered imperative because the present action of IOA, as the NOC, has adversely impacted the standing and prestige of the country and has set a wrong precedent that is not in the interest of Indian sports.