Sunday, June 23

PT Usha vs IOA Executive Council: A Power Struggle Threatens Olympic Preparations

A bitter public feud has erupted between PT Usha, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, and a majority of the Executive Council (EC) members.

A bitter public feud has erupted between PT Usha, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, and a majority of the Executive Council (EC) members. This power struggle casts a long shadow over India’s preparations for the fast-approaching Paris Olympics, just three months away.

PT Usha Accuses EC of Overstepping Authority

Usha alleges the EC members, led by nine signatories, are attempting to undermine her authority. This comes after they took several actions, including:

  • Posting a signed notice at the IOA headquarters declaring the appointments of two officials, chosen by Usha, as “unauthorized.”
  • Issuing a termination letter to Ajay Narang, Usha’s executive assistant.
  • Previously attempting to suspend Raghuram Iyer’s appointment as IOA CEO, questioning the salary package offered.

Usha vehemently rejects these actions, asserting that the EC is overstepping its boundaries. She claims the appointment and termination of staff fall under her purview as president, not the EC’s collective responsibility.

Underlying Tensions and Disagreements

While Usha maintains the CEO appointment was discussed and “ratified” by a majority of the EC during a meeting, reports suggest some members were unhappy with the high salary offered to Iyer (Rs. 3 crore annually). Usha claims the remuneration was renegotiated and reduced by 30%.

This issue highlights a deeper rift within the IOA. Some members might be questioning Usha’s leadership style or the chosen CEO’s qualifications.

A Call for Unity in the Face of Adversity

The ongoing public spat between IOA leadership is not only disheartening but also paints a negative picture of Indian sports administration on the global stage.

While constructive debate is crucial for any organization, the current situation appears driven by personal agendas rather than the well-being of Indian athletes. Both Usha and the EC members need to step back and prioritize the bigger picture.

The time for internal squabbling is over. The focus should be on creating a unified front that supports Indian athletes as they prepare to compete on the world’s biggest sporting stage. Usha and the EC must find common ground and act collaboratively in the best interests of Indian sports.

The upcoming Olympics offer a golden opportunity for Indian athletes. The IOA leadership needs to put aside their differences and ensure a smooth and successful participation for the nation’s athletes in Paris.

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