Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra
Raja Randhir Singh
Indian Olympic Association
Read the full text of IOC and OCA's joint letter addressed to IOA, which CNN-IBN correspondent Digvijay Singh Deo has accessed.
Lausanne, 23 November 2012
Dear Prof. Malhotra,
Dear Mr Singh,
We acknowledge receipt of Prof. Malhotra’s letters of 19 and 21 November.
From the letter of 19 November, it is our understanding that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is unable to confirm that the IOA's elections will be held strictly in accordance with the rules of the Olympic Charter and the IOA's constitution currently in force, as adopted by the IOA's General Assembly and approved by the IOC. On the contrary, it is mentioned that the Government regulations shall apply for the IOA’s elections, thus ignoring the Olympic Charter and the IOA’s constitution.
From the letter of 21 November, we understand that the IOA strongly condemns those Government regulations and the Government interference in the IOA’s election process.
However, the IOA seems to continue developing its election process on the basis established by the Government regulations. The situation is therefore extremely confusing, not to say contradictory, since, on the one hand, the IOA is claiming that the Government regulations derived from the "Sports Code" interfere with the election process and are not acceptable; however, on the other hand, the IOA is saying that it is bound by those Government regulations and will continue proceeding with the IOA elections on the basis of those Government regulations.
We invite once again the IOA and the Government authorities to refer to the applicable rules of the Olympic Charter in relation to this specific matter and, in particular:
Paragraph 5 of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism: "Recognising that sport occurs within the framework of society, sports organisations within the Olympic Movement shall have the rights and obligations of autonomy, which include freely establishing and controlling the rules of sport, determining the structure and governance of their organisations, enjoying the right of elections free from any outside influence and the responsibility for ensuring that principles of good governance be applied."
Paragraph 1.5 of the Bye-law to Rules 27 and 28: "The officers and members of the executive body of an NOC shall be elected in accordance with the NOC’s statutes, for a term of office not exceeding four years; they may be eligible for re-election." (emphasis added).
Rule 1.4 of the Olympic Charter: "Any person or organisation belonging in any capacity whatsoever to the Olympic Movement is bound by the provisions of the Olympic Charter and shall abide by the decisions of the IOC."
As you are well aware, the IOC and OCA have objected on numerous occasions, and for more than two years, to the Government regulations being imposed upon the IOA, unless they are freely accepted and reflected in the IOA’s constitution by decision of the IOA’s General Assembly (provided of course that they are compatible with the Olympic CharterCharter).
As you know, and in order to be as constructive as possible, the IOC has clearly identified the specific provisions of the Government regulations that are not compatible with the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter in an opinion rendered on 10 June 2011 (which was sent again to the IOA on 13 June 2012).
Unfortunately, the IOC and OCA position has been either ignored or challchallenged and the problem has not been resolved in due time by the responsible authorities and institutions.
Now we understand that, although the IOA has freely decided not to reflect the
Government regulations (or some of them) in the IOA’s constitution currently in force it is force, being faced with a local situation where it has no choice but to implement and apply those Government regulations for the IOA’s elections.
This situation goes against the principle of autonomy of the IOA and constitute an obvious constitutes violation of the Olympic Charter which would force the IOC to propose suspension of the IOA to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4-5 December 2012 based on Rule52012, 27.9 of the Olympic Charter which states:Charter,
"Apart from the measures and sanctions provided in the case of infringement of the Apart Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement in the country of an NOC, including suspension of or withdrawal of recognition from such NOC if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the entry activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered. The IOC Executive Board shall offer such NOC an opportunity to be heard before any such decision is taken."
In addition, this raises many questions and doubts as to the IOA's responsibility in the current situation. Indeed, for more than two years, the IOA has obviously failed (i) to play. An active role in defending the principles of the Olympic Charter and in entering into a real and constructive dialogue with the relevant Government authorities to ensure that thislogue
matter is resolved in a satisfactsatisfactory manner in line with the IOC and OCA position expressed on numerous occasions and (ii) to regularly inform and coordinate closely with the IOC and OCA.
Lately, the IOA has failed to inform the IOC and OCA in due time of this conflictive issue on the applicable rules for the IOA elections and, in particular, has not informed the IOC and OCA of the order from the Delhi High Court on 13 September 2012 by which the IOA is now saying that it is bound The IOA has therefore neglected a number of fundamental bound. duties and responsibilities of an NOC (as provided for in the Olympic Charter) such as:Charter), Rule 27.2.2: "[The NOCs’ role is] to ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter in their countries."
Rule 27.6: "The NOCs must preserve their autonomy and resist all pressures of any kind,The including but not limited to political, legal, religious or economic pressures which may prevent them from complying with the Olympic Charter.Charter."
Now, the IOA cannot, on the one hand, reject in principle the Government regulations and decide not to reflect them in the IOA’s constitution and, on the other hand, accept to be bound by those Government regulations and continue developing its election process on that basis.
The IOA must be consistent with its own position by either (i) freely accepting the Government regulations (or some of them) and, in this case, reflecting them in the IOA’s constitution by decision of the IOA’s General Assembly (provided of course that they are compatible with the Olympic Charter or (ii) not accepting the Government regulations (orCharter),ng some of them), not reflecting them in the IOA’s constitution and, in this case, not applying them.
The IOA has therefore been unable to make the appropriate, responsible and consistent decisions in due time and, as a result, is faced now with this situation.
Consequently, for these reasons also, the IOA is exposing itself to the measures and or sanctions provided in Rule 59.1.4 of the Olympic Charter.
Though it is necessary for the IOA to hold its regular quadrennial election process, this election process cannot take place on an incorrect basis and in such a confusing context.
Should the IOA decide to hold elections on a basis other than the Olympic Charter and the IOA's constitution, the results of such elections would not be recognised by the IOC and OCA.
In view of the above, unless you rectify the situation with immediate effect and give clear, and written guarantees to the IOC to ensure that the elections can be held strictly on the basis of the Olympic Charter and the IOA’s constitution, we inform you that a proposal for constitution, suspension of your NOC 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. In this, case, the IOA would be invited to provide all necessary explanations and to present its position in writing to the IOC no later than 30 November 2012.
Given the gravity of the situation, your earliest response is expected.
Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah