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Mary Kom elected chairman, Sharath vice-chairman of athletes commission; Gagan, Sindhu part of General Assembly with voting rights | More sports News

Mary Kom elected chairman, Sharath vice-chairman of athletes commission; Gagan, Sindhu part of General Assembly with voting rights | More sports News

NEW DELHI: There was an element of surprise when the chairman and vice-chairman of the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) athletes commission were elected here on Tuesday. It was widely expected that Gagan Narang and P V Sindhu would occupy the two top posts. Instead, Mary Kom was elected as the chairman and Achanta Sharath Kamal as the vice-chairman of the athletes commission in an interesting turn of events. Narang and Sindhu were sent to the IOA’s general assembly with voting rights as the athletes commission’s representatives.
A 10-member athletes commission was selected without any voting on Monday after the meeting witnessed a mass withdrawal of sportspersons. Apart from Mary, Sharath, Gagan and Sindhu, the other members elected to the athletes commission included Mirabai Chanu, Rani Rampal, Bhavani Devi, Bajrang Lal, OP Karhana and Shiva Keshavan. The remaining six members have now been looking to get themselves accommodated in one of the IOA’s commissions such as ethics and arbitration, among others. The athletes commission members can’t run for an office-bearer’s post during the upcoming IOA’s elections to elect the new executive body on December 10.
“As a chairperson, I have a vision to take Indian sports in the right direction and to excel in various disciplines to achieve podium finishes at the Olympics. All my team members are experienced and it’s about sharing our ideas with each other to create a clean and transparent sports ecosystem,” Mary Kom told TOI.
While Mary Kom and Achanta will have the voting rights in the executive council (EC), Gagan and Sindhu will have their votes counted in the general assembly. Rest of the athletes commission members won’t have the voting rights. Similarly, the athletes commission will be responsible for picking the eight ‘sportspersons of outstanding merit’ (SOM), who will have the voting rights in the general assembly. Gagan, Sindhu and eight SOMs will cast their votes during the elections. The SOMs will be retired athletes, who shouldn’t have participated in any competitive sport for at least one year prior to the date of application.
“The athletes commission will have the mandate to elect the SOMs by November 19. But it’s not under the purview of the commission to decide which SOM will contest for which office-bearer(s) post in the elections. SOMs can file nominations on their own to become IOA’s office-bearers,” informed Keshavan, six-time Winter Olympian and four-time Asian champion.
At the meeting on Tuesday, Abhinav Bindra (IOC’s athletes commission member) and Sardar Singh (OCA’s athletes standing committee member) were co-opted in the athletes commission as the two ex-officio members. They, along with Mirabai, Bhavani and Sindhu joined the meeting at the JLN stadium remotely.

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