KATHMANDU, Sept 22: The controversy over the legitimacy of Nepal Olympic Committee is likely to continue with concerned authorities showing no signs of relenting on their allegations and counter-allegations against each other.
A delegation of athletes and National Sports Council (NSC) staffers on Friday handed over a five-point memorandum to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai demanding action against Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The delegation led by Olympian Deepak Bista and NSC staffer Narayan Dev Rana demanded transparency in NOC transactions. They also demanded a probe into the transactions of NOC and execution of the Supreme Court verdict on the legal status of two contesting NOC bodies in the country.
Two different NOCs -- one led by Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan and the other led by Rukma SJB Rana -- have been claiming legitimacy. While the Supreme Court legitimized the Rana-led committee, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognized the committee led by Pradhan.
The delegation had submitted a similar memorandum to NSC Member Secretary Yuvaraj Lama on Friday morning. Lama has expressed solidarity with the demands of the delegation.
NSC accuses Pradhan-led NOC of cheating athletes
Meanwhile, NSC has accused the Pradhan-led NOC of cheating athletes and national associations.
NSC put forward some financial documents of the NOC and claimed that the NOC has cheated athletes participating in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010. The documents show that NOC had spent US $ 6,034 each to four athletes for participation in YOG.
However, athlete Manisha Adhikari, who participated in YOG, had claimed that she had received only $510 from the NOC for participation in YOG held in Singapore.
NSC Vice President Pitambar Timalsina, who heads a probe committee formed by NSC, also claimed that the Pradhan-led NOC has also been cheating national associations. "All the associations, who conducted solidarity course, have said us that they have received only $6000 from NOC. However, NOC General Secretary Jeewan Ram Shrestha has been saying in press that an association gets $8000 to conduct the solidarity course," said Timalsina.
Pradhan-led NOC refutes allegations
NOC General Secretary Shrestha, however, refuted the allegations.
"We had spent US $ 6,034 per athlete but it was not only the allowance. It was the total expense, including the expenses for training and foreign tours of the participating athletes," said Shrestha. "The allowance was only a small portion of the budget," he added.
"In terms of solidarity courses, any association conducting the course gets US $ 6,000 initially and another installment of $2000 after furnishing all the bills and vouchers," said Shrestha. "Almost every association has received both the installments. Only those that have yet to furnish bills or receive clearance from IOC might not have received the second installment," he added.
Shrestha also asked NSC to make its financial transactions transparent. "The CIAA has been investigating into NSC expenses during the Sixth National Games. A parliamentary committee had also been probing irregularities. The current NSC leadership is trying to cover its misdeeds by accusing others," said Shrestha.
Pradhan-led NOC meets PM
On Thursday evening, the Pradhan-led NOC had met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to brief on the current controversy. "We have suggested to the government to adopt IOC Charter and amend the clauses of existing Sports Development Act that contradict the IOC Charter," said Shrestha. "We also suggested to the government to introduce a separate Act for regulating Nepal Olympic Committee," he added.
He also said that the NOC delegation informed PM that they are flexible toward ending the controversy.
NSC to take stern action
Meanwhile, NSC Member Secretary Yuvaraj Lama said that the current NSC leadership is ready to take a stern action against NOC. "We´ll expose their fraudulent activities before the Nepali sports fraternity," said Lama. "We´ll not let anyone go scot free if they violate the law of the land," he added.