IOA Amends its Constitution to Meet IOC Criteria

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was recently compelled to make radical changes to its constitution following warnings of disbandment by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the subsequent interference by the Supreme Court (SC) to right the wrong.


The most significant change under the draft constitution is that state units of the IOA will not be given any voting rights due to the limited role they have to play in the IOA. Further, the IOA will allow any citizen of the country to contest for the post of President, a massive shift from its earlier requirement that an applicant has served on the executive committee. The draft constitution states that all sports federations must adhere to the National Sports Code to get affiliation status with the IOA.

It considers all executive council members to be office bearers who may not serve more than three terms. However, no member can hold one or more positions for more than two consecutive terms. A mandatory cooling-off period will be applicable after two successive terms.


The draft creates a new post for a Chief Executive Officer, who will be appointed by the Executive Council (EC) and retain an ex-officio position with no voting rights along with other IOC members.

The draft constitution also implements a new voting pattern. Under this, two representatives, one male and one female from National Sports Federations (NSFs) who are a part of the Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games, will have voting rights. If there is no female member, the NSF will lose voting rights.


The draft also envisions representation from Sportspersons of Outstanding Merit (SOM) provided that four are male and four are female over the age of 18 with a sound mind. Further, the SOM should be retired from active sports for at least one year prior and have achieved at least one medal (gold, silver, or bronze) in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or Asian Games while representing India.


The number of members in the EC has been reduced from 31 to 14. The Athletes Commission will elect two representatives (one male & one female) from among its members. This council is supported by the ex-officio appointments of IOC member(s) with a vote and the CEO with no vote.