IOC, OCA back NOC led by Pradhan

Kathmandu, July 23:

International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) today urged all the concerned authorities to let Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan-led Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) to operate the bank accounts.

“We have been alerted that unauthorised persons are attempting to operate the bank account of the NOC in the name of the current and legitimate office-bearers of NOC, recognised by the IOC and OCA,” said a letter addressed to Pradhan and undersigned by Pere Miro, NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity and IOC Director, and Hussain Al-Musallam, Director General and Technical Director of OCA.

“The IOC and OCA reaffirm NOC the only authorised entity/person to handle the funds from the IOC/ Olympic Solidarity,” the letter read. The letter also said that IOC and OCA recognise the NOC headed by president Pradhan.

“We urge you to take all appropriate arrangements and steps in order to make sure that only the NOC recognised by the IOC and OCA headed by Pradhan may operate this bank account and handle the funds from the Olympic movement,” the joint statement by the IOC and OCA said.

The NOC crisis started following the Nepal Government decision on June 24 to reinstate the committee headed by former president Rukma Shumsher Rana. The minister-level meeting had decided to recognise the committee registered under the National Directive Act 1961, giving legitimacy to committee led Rana. Pradhan-led NOC, however, was elected on March 13 last year under the supervision of IOC and OCA representatives and outgoing president Rana himself.

The recent controversy over the legitimacy between the two NOCs led the government to freeze the NOC bank accounts and Rana-led NOC is believed to have been authorised to handle the accounts.

Meanwhile, Rana-led NOC in a press conference today said they would get the IOC and OCA recognition after the Beijing Olympics. Rana said they wanted the sports ministry to lead the Olympic contingent. “We filed a complaint at the Home Ministry and Education and Sports Ministry against the Pradhan-led NOC for selecting unnecessary people in the Nepali contingent for the Olympics,” Rana said.

Rana claimed that the Home Ministry had already directed the Education and Sports Ministry to follow their directives and that the National Sports Council was trying to conceal the letter.