In order to ensure that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections are conducted in a 'fair' and 'transparent' manner, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to overrule the IOA and send its observers for the polls, scheduled to be held on November 25.
The IOC believes it is necessary to send neutral observers to make sure that the election process is conducted in a smooth manner. According to sources, the confusion surrounding the status of IOA's beleaguered president Suresh Kalmadi and his role and power in the association has forced the IOC to send its observers for the elections.
This will be for the first time in 76 years that international observers will monitor IOA elections. “In our letter to the IOA today (Wednesday) we have confirmed that the IOC and the OCA (Asian Olympic Council) will send observers to the IOA Elective General Assembly on November 25,” IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau told DNA.
The IOA and IOC have been on collision course for quite some time now on this particular issue. Acting IOA president VK Malhotra had objected to the IOC “diktat”, saying it was completely unacceptable to have international observers at its elections. On Wednesday, Malhotra claimed he wasn't aware of the development but insisted IOA cannot afford to antagonise the IOC. “If they are going to send observers, then so be it. We have made our position clear on it. We have no option but to accept, even though unwillingly,” Malhotra told this paper.
The IOC has, time and again, expressed its unhappiness over the lack of transparency in IOA's functioning, especially in the case pertaining to the status of Kalmadi in the IOA.
“The IOC has been repeatedly asking the National Olympic Committee (IOA) to conduct a proper enquiry but unfortunately we have not seen any action so far. We will continue to press for such an investigation to take place and should the situation remain unchanged, we might ask our ethics commission to look into the matter,” Moreau said.