IOA President PT Usha Yet to Receive Request for Emergency Meeting

IOA President PT Usha Yet to Receive Request for Emergency Meeting

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is facing internal turmoil as President PT Usha has yet to receive a letter requesting an emergency meeting to address pressing issues. Eleven of the 15 Executive Committee (EC) members had raised concerns about the “arbitrary” functioning of CEO Raghu Ram Iyer and Usha’s executive assistant, Ajay Narang.

Usha, however, claims she has not received the letter and alleges that the EC members prevented business from being transacted at the March 28 meeting by refusing to allow video recording. She emphasizes that her decisions prioritize athletes’ comfort.

Regarding hotel and ticket bookings, Usha states that despite the IOC’s mandate to complete bookings by August 2023, no action was taken until she intervened. She claims that the IOA failed to release advances for apartment complex bookings for extra team officials, resulting in the lapse of the booking.

Similarly, the IOA’s booking for golfers lapsed due to non-payment. In the case of shooting, the IOA assisted the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in securing funds from the sports ministry to pay the advance for the venue, which is located 300 kilometers from Paris.

Usha also highlights that two members of the three-member committee formed to oversee Olympic arrangements made themselves unavailable, preventing the appointment of replacements. She accuses the EC members of obstructing the smooth functioning of the IOA.

IOA Crisis: EC Calls for Emergency Meeting to Address Issues with President Usha

IOA Crisis: EC Calls for Emergency Meeting to Address Issues with President Usha

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is facing a crisis as the executive committee (EC) has called for an emergency meeting to address urgent issues with president PT Usha. The EC members have raised concerns over the arbitrary functioning of CEO Raghuram Iyer and Ajay Narang, Usha’s executive assistant.

The logjam has affected the functioning of the IOA, with financial bills being held up and preparations for the Paris Olympics in jeopardy. The EC members have pointed to the resignation of two senior members, Raj Laxmi Singh Deo and Sahdev Yadav, due to a lack of information and arbitrary actions by Iyer and Narang.

The EC has alleged that the duo is making unauthorized hotel and ticket bookings, granting unapproved accreditations, and spending IOA funds without following due processes. They have also expressed concerns over the appointment of Iyer as CEO, which they claim was illegal and unconstitutional.

The EC members have demanded that Usha consult them on key appointments, such as the chef-de-mission for the Paris Olympics, and make decisions as per the IOA constitution. They have also reiterated their opposition to Iyer’s appointment and Narang’s contract.

Usha has defended her actions, claiming that Iyer was appointed through proper procedures and that Narang is her executive assistant. However, the EC members maintain that they were not consulted on Iyer’s appointment and that Narang’s contract is a violation of the IOA constitution.

The crisis within the IOA has raised concerns about the preparations for the Paris Olympics. The EC members have urged Usha to address the issues urgently and ensure that the athletes are well-prepared for the Games.

Mary Kom Steps Down as India's Chef-de-Mission for Paris Olympics

Mary Kom Steps Down as India’s Chef-de-Mission for Paris Olympics

Six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom has resigned as India’s Chef-de-Mission for the upcoming Paris Olympics, citing personal reasons. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha announced Mary Kom’s decision in a statement on Friday.

In a letter to Usha, Mary Kom expressed her regret for stepping down from the prestigious role. “I consider it an honor to serve my country in every way possible, and I was mentally prepared for it. However, I regret that I will not be able to uphold the prestigious responsibility and would like to resign, owing to personal reasons,” she wrote.

Mary Kom, who is also a bronze medalist from the 2012 London Olympics, was appointed as Chef-de-Mission on March 21. She was tasked with overseeing the logistical arrangements for the Indian contingent at the Paris Games, scheduled for July 26-August 11.

IOA President Usha expressed sadness over Mary Kom’s decision but respected her privacy. “We are sad that Olympic medal-winning boxer and Chairperson of the IOA Athletes Commission Mary Kom has stepped down citing personal reasons. We respect her decision and her privacy,” Usha said.

Usha added that she had a conversation with Mary Kom after receiving her letter. “I completely understand her request and respect her decision. I have also conveyed to her that she will always have my own support and that of IOA. I also request everyone to respect the legendary boxer’s privacy,” she said.

The IOA will now begin the process of finding a replacement for Mary Kom. Usha said she would make an announcement about the new Chef-de-Mission soon.

Mary Kom’s resignation comes as a setback for the Indian contingent preparing for the Paris Olympics. However, the IOA is confident that it will find a suitable replacement who can lead the team to success.

Delhi HC Considers Ad Hoc Committee for Suspended Wrestling Federation of India

Delhi HC Considers Ad Hoc Committee for Suspended Wrestling Federation of India

The Delhi High Court is considering the formation of an ad hoc committee to manage the suspended Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Justice Sachin Datta has granted the Union Sports Ministry another opportunity to clarify its stance on managing the federation’s affairs after the dissolution of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) ad hoc committee.

The court criticized the ministry for failing to file an affidavit explaining its decision to suspend the WFI and the circumstances surrounding the dissolution of the IOA’s ad hoc committee. Justice Datta indicated that he may appoint an ad hoc committee if the ministry does not provide a clear explanation.

The court’s consideration stems from an application filed by four wrestlers, including Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia, who sought directions to the ministry not to revoke the WFI’s suspension. The wrestlers also requested the appointment of a one-man committee to oversee the management of the WFI.

The IOA had dissolved its ad hoc committee on March 18, citing the lifting of the WFI’s ban by the United World Wrestling (UWW) and the successful completion of selection trials. However, the wrestlers argued that the ministry’s suspension order remained in effect.

The ministry’s counsel requested a week’s time to file an affidavit, claiming that the response needed approval from the Joint Secretary, who was out of the country. The wrestlers’ counsel alleged that the ministry’s stance was dependent on whether the “ousted gentleman” (former WFI president Sanjay Singh) received a ticket for the upcoming elections.

The WFI, represented by senior advocate Dayanan Krishnan, informed the court that a coordinate bench had issued notice in the federation’s plea challenging the ministry’s order suspending the elected executive committee.

The IOA, in its affidavit, stated that it withdrew the ad hoc committee to avoid conflict with the Olympic Charter and UWW rules. It emphasized that the WFI’s recognition by the UWW is paramount and that the NOC cannot interfere in the affairs of NSFs.

The court has adjourned the matter for further hearing, awaiting the ministry’s affidavit and the wrestlers’ response.

Anju Bobby George Questions IOA's Flag Bearer Decision for Paris Olympics

Anju Bobby George Questions IOA’s Flag Bearer Decision for Paris Olympics

Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to appoint Sharath Kamal as the flag bearer for the 2024 Paris Olympics has sparked controversy, with legendary athlete Anju Bobby George questioning the omission of Neeraj Chopra.

George, a Commonwealth and Asian Games medalist, took to Instagram to express her surprise at the decision, stating that Chopra, the reigning Olympic champion in javelin throw, should have been considered. She questioned the IOA’s rationale, especially since the federations, including table tennis, have yet to announce their Olympic teams.

Sharath Kamal, a 10-time national table tennis champion, has an impressive record, including 13 Commonwealth Games medals and two Asian Games medals. However, Chopra’s Olympic gold medal and world ranking of 88 make him a more deserving candidate for the honor, according to George.

The IOA has also appointed Olympic bronze medalist MC Mary Kom as the chef de mission for the Paris Games. Kom, a six-time world champion and five-time Asian champion, is the first female boxer to win an Olympic medal for India.

Gagan Narang, a bronze medalist in the 10m air rifle event at the 2012 London Olympics, has been appointed to head the shooting village operations for the Paris Olympics. Shooting has not produced an Indian medalist since London 2012, despite earning India its first individual Olympic medal in Beijing 2008.

The Olympic Games will take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024. The Indian contingent will be led by a distinguished team of officials, including Sharath Kamal, MC Mary Kom, and Gagan Narang.

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