IOC chief welcomes IOA decision on the charge-sheeted

Lausanne, Dec 11: International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has said the Executive Board welcomed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) decision to amend a clause in its constitution “to meet the basic standards of ethics, good governance and integrity”.

Bach told the media after first day’s meeting of the executive board here Tuesday that it heard an update on the IOA situation and welcomed the “latest positive developments”.

Bach’s reference was to the decision of the currently suspended national olympic committee of India to amend the relevant clause, as requested by the IOC, to bar the officials formally charged with criminal offences from contesting elections.

The board decided that the Indian athletes qualifying for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics would be allowed to compete as an independent Olympic participant under the Olympic flag, and also made it clear that no Indian flags or symbols would be used at the Games, reports Xinhua.

The IOC Executive Board has begun its final meeting of 2013 at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, in a “productive” way, said Bach.

The closed-door meeting, which would end Saturday, is also the first led by Bach since his election in September at the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A joint meeting of the Executive Board and the Executive Council of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) observed a minute of silence to coincide with the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. After that, the Executive Board met in the afternoon to discuss a wide range of issues related to the Olympic Games.

Bach said the meeting was more about the technical issues, and not so much about the strategic ones which will be discussed in the next four days.

“I think we had a very productive meeting, we had excellent discussions, and this is encouraging for the next four days when we will have our brainstorming meetings,” Bach said.

The Executive Board mainly heard reports on Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, according to Bach, who highlighted that the preparations for Sochi 2014 were going very well, while there was still a lot to do with regard to infrastructure, accommodation and other issues.

“We are very confident that everything will be in place and that we will have a really an excellent stage for the best athletes of the world,” said Bach, who commended the “great commitment” of the organising committee and of all levels of governments for the Games.

As for the Rio Games, Bach said the key to its success lies in “seamless cooperation and coordination among the different levels of government and with the organising committee” and that he would most likely make a trip to Brazilian capital even before the Sochi Games to further boost and encourage cooperation.

IANS