Government to Frame National Sports Development Legislation
Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports, today announced that the Government had decided to frame a National Sports Development Legislation soon in the larger interest of Indian sports. Explaining the roadmap of comprehensive sports legislation in a Press Conference , he said that the Ministry will put on its website the draft Bill on 20th February and will invite suggestions from the stakeholders and public for one month before taking it forward.
Shri Maken said that the proposed comprehensive legislation would be widely based and would incorporate essences of
1. Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance (BUPOGG),
2. The IOC Charter,
3. Good International legislative practices,
4. Anti Doping Laws,
5. Measures against Sexual Harassment, and
6. Age fraud detection. Elaborating on each of the Six parameters, Shri Maken said,
Some of the core principles enunciated in the BUPOGG as adopted by the XIII Olympic Congress of the Olympic and Sports Movements include,
Elections to sports bodies should be governed by clear, transparent and fair rules( including a clean electoral roll, an independent returning Officer and secret ballot) .Adequate procedural regulations must exist to ensure there is no conflict of interests. The term of office should be of limited duration, in order to allow renewal of office bearers on a regular basis. Co-operation, coordination and consultation with governments to preserve autonomy. The resolution passed by the XIII Congress also underlines the essentiality of athletes’ involvement in decision making with full voting rights.
The IOC charter in its Chapter 16, Rule 3.3, Chapter 19, rule 2.1, 2.2 and Rule2.3, Chapter 20, Rule 1 and Chapter 28, Rule 5 clearly lays down as such;
Any IOC member ceases to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which he reaches the age of 70 (CH.16, 3.3). All members of the IOC Executive Board are elected by the sessions in a secret ballot bya majority of votes cast.((19.2.1). A member may serve for a maximum of two successive terms on IOC Executive Board regardless to the capacity to which he has been elected. (CH.19, 2.2). In case a member has completed two successive terms, he may be elected again after a minimum period of two years.(19.2.3). The President is elected by secret ballot from among members for a term of eight years, renewable once for four years. (20.1).
In order to fulfill their mission the National Olympic Committees may cooperate with governmental bodies with which they shall achieve harmonious relations. However, they shall not associate themselves with any activity which would be in contradiction with the Olympic charter. (28.1)
Existing Legislations in other countries can serve as good examples for drawing out prevalent best practices. A case in point in this regard would be the Ted Stevens Olympic Amateur Act of 1978 enacted by the USA, it provides for;
Reservation of 20% membership and voting rights for amateur athletes who are actively involved in the sport and have represented the USA in the past 10 years . Requirement of issuing public notifications inviting objections prior to making any alterations in its constitutions and by laws.
Anti Doping law shall be in compliance with WADA. The fact that nearly 139 countries are signatories to the International UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport is in self a reflection of the fact that Sport/ Sports Administrators can no longer claim isolation from scrutiny. As a signatory to the UNESCO convention, India has shown highest commitment to movement against doping. It is a member of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and has constituted its own National anti Doping Agency (NADA) on the lines of WADA.
Measures against sexual harassment would aim at ensuring that the guidelines laid down by the Supreme court judgment in the Vishakha Vs State of Rajasthan are implemented and taken into prospective while contemplating protection of women in sports from sexual harassment. Fool proof guidelines for Age fraud detection need to be formulated and put forth as binding legislation.