IOA EC asks PT Usha to hold emergency meeting

IOA EC asks PT Usha to hold emergency meeting

The executive committee (EC) of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has called president PT Usha to hold an emergency meeting and urgently “address” all the issues with “transparency.”

The EC members and Usha have been at loggerheads over several contentious issues(PTI)
The EC members and Usha have been at loggerheads over several contentious issues(PTI)

The EC members and Usha have been at loggerheads over several contentious issues, including the appointment of CEO Raghuram Iyer. The logjam is now starting to affect the functioning of the IOA with the Paris Olympics around the corner as no financial bills are being cleared.

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In a letter to Usha, 11 of the 15 EC members on Tuesday listed several issues that need to be urgently resolved as per the IOA constitution.

The EC members have pointed to the “arbitrary” functioning of CEO Raghu Ram Iyer and Ajay Narang, who is employed as IOA president Usha’s executive assistant.

They have expressed concerns over the preparations for the Paris Olympics. “It is a matter of grave concern that two senior EC members Raj Laxmi Singh Deo and IOA treasurer Sahdev Yadav who were made in charge of overseeing the preparations for the Olympics have resigned due to complete lack of information and arbitrary actions of Ajay Narang and Raghuram Iyer.”

The EC alleged the duo is “arbitrarily making hotel and ticket bookings, and granting unapproved random accreditations.”

“There has been no information regarding important decisions to be taken which include planning, logistics, kits, ceremonies, travels, accommodations and accreditations etc,” according to the letter, a copy of which is with HT.

They have also alleged “unauthorised spending of IOA funds,” and “entering into sponsorship agreements without following due processes.

The letter has been signed by IOA treasurer Sahdev Yaday, Sr Vice president Ajay Patel, vice presidents Raj Laxmi Singh Deo and Gagan Narang, Jt secretary Alakhnanda Ashok, and EC members Amitabh Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Bajwa, Rohit Rajpal, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Dola Banerjee and Yogeshwar Dutt.

When contacted, Yadav said, “I am really worried about the situation and all the EC members are also concerned.”

“We want everything to go smoothly for our athletes. We need to ensure that the accommodation, logistics and all other arrangements of our athletes are well taken care of. However, the EC members are not being taken into confidence. We need to sit down and solve the issues as per IOA constitution,” said Yadav, who is also the president of the Weightlifting Federation of India.

The EC members said key appointments for the Games like chef-de-mission (CDM) and deputy chef-de-mission were made without their knowledge. “No deliberations on the same has been undertaken in any meetings of the EC,” said the letter.

As CDM MC Mary Kom has resigned from her post citing personal issues, EC asked Usha to consult the members on the issue and make a decision as per IOA constitution. The EC members reiterated that appointment of CEO Iyer was “illegal and unconstitutional.”

Earlier, majority of EC members had struck down the appointment, saying it violates the “basic rule of transparency and not done as per IOA constitution.”

“The constitution only envisages that the CEO must be appointed by the EC and his terms of service should also be determined the EC.”

After a long delay, Iyer’s appointment came in January. Usha had insisted that CEO was appointed through following “proper procedure and completely on merit.”

EC members, on the other hand, claim they had not approved CEO’s appointment during a meeting in January. According to the members, Iyer has been hired at a salary of 20 lakh per month which is a big bone of contention. They had also signed a letter terminating the appointment of Narang.

In a letter to EC members, Usha had said since Narang is appointed as her executive assistant and looks after her correspondence/appointments etc, EC members cannot terminate his contract.

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