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IOA CEO Appointment: EC members accuse PT Usha of exerting pressure

12 members of the Indian Olympic Association Executive Committee accused PT Usha of exerting pressure which the legend denied.


PT Usha is the president of the Indian Olympic Association. 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Jan 2024 9:56 AM GMT

Indian Olympic Association Executive Council (EC) members have accused President P.T. Usha of exerting pressure on them to clear the appointment of Raghu Iyer as the CEO of the body.

However, the legendary athlete denied the accusations and termed it 'shameful'.

On 6th January, an official statement by IOA mentioned the appointment of Iyer as CEO but 12 out of 15 EC members said that former Rajasthan Royals' chief executive's recruitment "hasn't been ratified" by the apex body.

"You did not list the appointment of the CEO in the agenda circulated for our previous EC meeting. While introducing the matter into the agenda unilaterally, you tried to exert pressure on us to make a rushed and hasty decision," a letter dated January 14 and signed by 12 members of EC, stated.

"We found how you conducted the proceedings to be inappropriate and not befitting of our institution."

The letter was signed by all the EC members except for Usha, herself, Olympic medallist Mary Kom, and ace paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal. It must be mentioned that Sharath is an active athlete.

Those who signed included senior vice president Ajay Patel, treasurer Sahadev Yadav, vice presidents Raj Laxmi Deo and Gagan Narang, and another Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.

"We hereby placed on record that the appointment of the CEO was not ratified by the EC. EC members were not allowed to peruse the proceedings of the nomination committee and understand the decision-making process followed and the criteria used for selecting the candidate," the letter said.

The members further alleged that Usha didn't give them the required time to review and negotiate the salary of the CEO and unilaterally informed the press about the appointment of the CEO.

P.T. Usha denies allegations

President P.T. Usha denied the allegations by the EC members completely and termed the accusations shameful.

"The communication with the press and the negotiation of compensation was done without any consultation with or decision by the EC." Usha replied to the letter and asserted that the appointment of CEO was discussed at length in the EC meeting and the majority of the members present "ratified" the appointment of Iyer," said Usha.

"It is a matter of great shame that, on the day the CEO has taken formal charge, certain members of the Executive Council have raised concerns and objections to these decisions," she added further.

Usha warned members that this kind of precedence would lead to suspension of the national Olympic body.

Raghu Iyer was appointed IOA CEO, a year after it was due and following repeated reminders from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The CEO will be an ex-officio member of the Executive Council without voting rights. He is not an elected member but a salaried official. Iyer had also served as CEO of the IPL side Rising Pune Supergiants.

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