New Delhi: India is likely to come back to the Olympic fold later this month as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Sunday elected a new body, with N. Ramachandran as its president in a free and fair elections on the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Indian Olympic Aassociation President N. Ramachandran. Pic: AFP
World Squash Federation (WSF) chief Ramachandran, brother of BCCI boss Narayanaswami Srinvasan, was elected unopposed while Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) president Rajeev Mehta and All India Tennis Association (AITA) president Anil Khanna were elected, also unopposed, respectively as the secretary general and treasurer.
A three-member IOC delegation, headed by Robin Mitchell, said they were satisfied with the IOA elections and they would submit a favourable report to IOC president Thomas Bach in Sochi Monday.
IOC's NOC relations director Pere Miro and IOC's head of institutional relations Jerome Poivey were also a part of the committee.
Mitchell said that a decision on revoking India's suspension from the Olympic movement will be taken before the closing ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at IOC's executive committee meeting Feb 23.
"By 5 o'clock tomorrow (Monday), we will be in Sochi and will submit our report to IOC president Thomas Bach. On Feb 23, before the closing of the Winter Games, the IOC executive committee will meet and will take a call on the suspension," Mitchell told reporters.
Poivey said the amended IOA constitution was one of the advanced in the world.
"The amended IOA constitution is one of the most advanced in the world and we fully appreciate the IOA for this. We hope that this constitution is implemented fully," he said.
Most of the candidates for the IOA posts were elected unanimously but a contest could not be avoided for the eight posts of vice-president for which nine candidates had filed nominations.
Only Rowing Federation of India (RFI) president Rajlaxmi Singh Deo missed out as Anurag Thakur, Akhilesh Das Gupta, Janardhan Singh Gehlot, R.K. Anand, G.S. Mandher, Tarlochan Singh, Birendra Prasad Baishya and Parminder Singh Dhindsa were elected.
The IOA was suspended by the IOC in December 2012 over its controversial elections which did not comply with the Olympic Charter. Indians, since then, have been participating as individual athletes under the Olympic flag.
Out of 138 members, who voted, 70 were from Olympic sports.
After the elections, two members -- Anandeshwar Pandey (elected joint secretary) and Adhip Das (elected executive council member) -- resigned from their posts so that there was a majority of members from Olympic sports over non-Olympic sports in the IOA Executive Committee. Its total strength is 25 with 13 from Olympic sports.
New IOA office-bearers: president: N. Ramachandran, senior vice president: Virendra Nanavati, vice presidents: Anurag Thakur, Akhilesh Das Gupta, Janardhan Singh Gehlot, R.K. Anand, G.S. Mandher, Tarlochan Singh, Birendra Prasad Baishya, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, secretary general: Rajeev Mehta, treasurer: Anil Khanna