Interested parties close to the incumbent leadership of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) are pushing for the induction of new members in order to fix the forthcoming elections, Colombo Telegraph learns.
There are moves to offer membership to five sports, namely rugby, modern pentathlon, karate do, roller skating and baseball, the last three of which are not Olympic sports.
There are 26 associations holding membership in the NOC at present and close observers opine that the move to expand membership is prompted by the fear that the 22 year long rule by Hemasiri Fernando and his close associates could come to an end.
The NOC, by virtue of affiliation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is bound to adhere strictly to IOC bylaws pertaining to membership and voting rights.
The IOC Constitution clearly states under Article 28 (Composition of NOCs) that only ‘the voting majority of an NOC and of its executive body shall consist of the votes cast by the national federations referred to in (paragraph) 1.2 of the Article: all national federations affiliated to the International Federations governing sports included in the programme of the Olympic games or their representatives as well as IOC members in the country who are ex-officio members of the NOC executive body.
As such representatives of national bodies governing sports that are not part of the Olympic programme do not have voting rights. For example, representatives of karate do, roller skating and baseball, even if they obtained membership in the NOC, will not have voting rights.
Furthermore, the Constitution of Sri Lanka’s NOC states that applications for membership are taken up for consideration only at an Annual General Meeting and therefore such applicants cannot have voting rights in the event of there being elections.