The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general, Randhir Singh, stressed on the autonomy of national sports bodies at a workshop on Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in New Delhi on Friday.
The workshop played host to 28 delegates from all over the country and was jointly organised by the IOA and International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Under the Olympic movement and IOC Charter, the autonomy of national sports bodies is of paramount importance. We have to safeguard it,” Randhir said.
Sam Ramaswamy, an IOC member, agreed. “Kuwait was suspended by the IOC even though it is one of the biggest national federations in Asia. We don't want to be directed by nations,” he said.
Kuwait's suspension came into effect in January this year after the nation failed to meet the IOC's Dec 31 deadline for amending government legislation that permitted the Gulf state to interfere in elections of sporting organisations.
The Kuwaiti Olympic committee no longer receives Olympic funding, and its athletes and officials have been barred from Olympic Games and Olympic meetings.
Randhir also emphasised the need for transparency and good governance to help promote sports at the grassroots level.
The workshop was conducted under Deanna Binder and TA Ganda Sithole, IOC director, Department of International Cooperation and Development.
The OVEP programme was officially launched in India by Jacques Rogge, IOC president, during the Commonwealth Youth Games at Pune in October 2008.