News around you

IOA internal squabble over Olympics preparation

The 15-member EC, instead of working for the benefit of the athletes, are worried about themselves. What seems more embarrassing is that most members are Olympians or Olympic medallists.

IOACHENNAI: With just over three months left for the Olympics, the internal fight within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is refusing to die. So much so that the acrimony within the executive committee members has apparently led to a breakdown of trust. The 15-member EC, instead of working for the benefit of the athletes, are worried about themselves. What seems more embarrassing is that most members are Olympians or Olympic medallists.

After an EC meeting was apparently called off by the IOA president, PT Usha, later last week, a letter has been in circulation forbidding ‘unauthorised persons’ to enter the premises of the IOA Bhavan in New Delhi. It is learnt that it has been pasted on the elevators and walls as well and has been signed by nine members including senior vice president Ajay Patel, vice presidents Rajlakshmi Singh Deo and Gagan Narang, treasurer Sahdev Yadav and other members Dola Banerjee, Harpal Singh, Yogeshwar Dutt, Amitabh Sharma and Bhupinder Singh Bajwa.

The house has been divided ever since the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer in January. This was mandated after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had warned multiple times of dire consequences if a CEO was not appointed. The EC (nine out of the 15 as it seems by the signatures on the recent notification), had been vocal against the appointment of the CEO, Raghuram Iyer.

The main point of discontent had been the salary of the CEO was about Rs 20 lakh a month excluding other benefits. Interestingly, in January, there were about 12 signatories against the appointment.

Things got complicated because the CEO appointment had been endorsed by the IOC and there is no provision in the new constitution to terminate his appointment. Since all payments need finance committee’s nod and needs to be signed by the treasurer (along with the IOA president) payments have not been made, including CEO’s salary. The EC also claimed that they had terminated Usha’s executive assistant Ajay Narang as well.

However, Usha’s office has confirmed that the CEO and the executive assistant continue to work. They apparently are coordinating with sports ministry, Sports Authority of India (SAI), the IOC and the Paris Olympic Games Organising committee as well so that athletes don’t face any problems. Usha had earlier said that she had confidence in the CEO and would continue to work for the IOA.

You might also like

Comments are closed.