Riding on the stature of the country’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to send his candidature for the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) athletes’ commission elections, scheduled to take place during the 2016 Rio Games.
The IOA has sent an email to the shooter apprising him of the development and their 'gesture' of forwarding his candidature from India.
So far so good.
But the IOA forgot to make Bindra’s nomination eligible — the shooter has to be a part of the country’s athletes’ commission and his name should be endorsed by the body. Bindra is neither a part of the IOA’s athletes’ commission nor has his name been endorsed.
Responding to IOA’s email, Bindra wrote back explaining the eligibility criteria, stating that the candidate should be an active member of the national Olympic committee (NOC) athletes’ commission. "I am currently not a nominated athletes’ commission member of my NOC," stated Bindra in an email sent on July 20. "This is a prerequisite while recommending my name."
The Olympic champion also wrote, "It is up to you to take action as you deem fit and in future course inform me accordingly." The nominations close on September 15 and candidates can start campaigning on social media two months prior to the Games.
It’s anybody’s guess that Bindra’s candidature will not be accepted unless the IOA fulfils the criteria. "Action from your side if desired must be done immediately," wrote Bindra.
IOA general secretary Rajiv Mehta said, "Abhinav deserves to be in the (IOC) athletes’ commission, that’s why we are recommending his name. I have written to him asking for his consent. He is okay with it, but has told us about some technical points which have to be taken care of before sending the nomination to the IOC."
When asked why the IOA did not notice the issue before, Mehta said, "I am surprised why Abhinav’s name is not there in our athletes’ commission. I have spoken to our president (N Ramachandran) and the formalities will be completed before sending the final nomination," added Mehta. Later, Mehta confirmed that Ramachandran had agreed to Bindra’s inclusion in the IOA’s athletes’ commission.
"I have given my green signal. There is no second thought when it comes to Abhinav’s name," Ramachandran told HT. Asked if there was sufficient time to expand the IOA athletes’ commission, he said, "During the last general house, we had approved the athletes’ commission and intimated the IOC. We will get Abhinav’s name included as per the IOC Charter and get it approved by the executive body in August."