India’s IOA, Indian Olympic Association, is in trouble because its election process has been compromised. International Olympics Committee froze India’s membership till fresh elections occurred before Sochi Olympics began and warned them that Team India would not be allowed to have the Indian national flag if things did not clear up before February 7th, 2014. Knowing Indian bureaucracy, the matter was of course not sorted out on time and the date for fresh elections was decided for February 9th, two days after Sochi would have begun! Simple deadlines are not something Indian bureaucracy or any other government bureaucracy abides by. Indian Olympic officials took it lightly and now have to suffer the embarrassment of seeing Team India walk under the Olympic flag.
India has the distinction of possessing the biggest bureaucracy, which of course does not work and operates on egg shells where its fragile ego is concerned. Ironically, little things can cause major disruptions! Indian bureaucracy has not allowed itself to recover from its Consulate debacle and consequently a souring of relations with US. India is completely pissed with America’s behavior and its gall to arrest one of its diplomatic officers, that too over a maid, a mere domestic help, and over wages! Nobody really cares about these insignificant things in India. Maids, domestic help and legitimate wages, are one of those dispensable beings and things! India’s Olympics fiasco is just another one to accompany its earlier diplomatic one.
According to Channel News India, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will hold a poll to elect new leaders on February 9. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) froze India’s membership in December 2012 after the national association in New Delhi elected a number of tainted officials to key posts. The IOA last month bowed to pressure and agreed to keep tainted officials out of the fresh elections, but rejected a request from India’s sports ministry to hold the new contest before the start of the Games. Says Keshavan, preparing for his fifth Winter Olympics, “It is a sad and embarrassing situation that Indian sport has been put in,” the 32-year-old said. “People around the world know about the failure of our systems and about corruption and bad governance in sports. The essence of the Olympic Games is to ‘represent’ and I feel it is shameful and pathetic for all of us Indians that athletes may not walk under the Indian flag.”
Sports Illustrated states: Regarding IOA’s corruption, IOC’s President Bach says, “The (Olympic) charter is clear; if the suspension leads to no solution, then further steps could be withdrawal of recognition.” The IOC executive board could take a preliminary decision on withdrawing recognition of India. “Withdrawal of recognition would mean there is no NOC (National Olympic Committee) any more in India. That means no participation, no subsidies.” Under the current suspension, the Indian body has stopped receiving IOC funding and its officials have been banned from attending Olympic meetings and events. India’s athletes are barred from competing in Olympic events under their national flag. Stripping India completely of IOC recognition would leave the country without any Olympic involvement. It would keep Indian athletes out of the Olympics and related events such as the Asian Games. Other international federations could also follow suit. So rather than alter its bureaucratic procedures, India’s Olympic committee has opted to embarrass its athletes, its nation and itself in front of the entire world. Olympic spirit apparently means very different things to different people.