Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

India and Olympics ban

International Olympics Council (IOC) has written to India that government cannot interfere in matters of Indian Olympics Association (IOA) and if it interferes India can be banned from participating in London Olympics 2012.

IOA officials do not want to two terms limit and age limit mandated by Sports Ministry and the matter is in court. Some IOA officials are IOC officials and that has resulted in India receiving the letter threatening ban.

Sometime back there was a report that IOA had received a letter from IOC stating that only federations of Olympics sports should be affiliates of IOA and only chairmen of affiliates could vote in IOA elections instead of chairmen, secretaries and treasures. Federations of sports like atya patya, kabaddi and kho-kho could not be affiliates of IOA. Nothing was heard about it after that.

It cannot be only duties and no rights for the government. IOA officials hold on to power for years without accountability. When the government spends people’s money on sports it should have rights. Whatever little India has achieved in sports is in spite of IOA. Athletes do not get their dues. Those athletes who fight for their rights are dropped in spite of being winners and the euphemism of “rested” is used. Last year hockey players united and went on strike before World Cup to get their dues. The government should stand firm and enforce age and term limits. If IOA officials do not agree the government should stop giving them money and take back the stadia, buildings and other things given to them. If the fight with IOC and IOA means Indian athletes can not officially take part in London Olympics 2012 so be it.

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