New Delhi, May 24: Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra is all set to become a member of the International Olympic Committee after his name was proposed for the prestigious seat by the executive board of the world sport's apex body.
The proposal to elect Batra and 9 other new members was submitted on Wednesday (May 22) by the Executive Board of the IOC to IOC Session that will meet in June in Lausanne, a statement from the world body said.
"Seven of the 10 proposed new members are individual members, while there are three candidatures linked to a function within a National Olympic Committee (NOC) or a Continental Association of NOCs," the IOC statement added.
The vote for the prestigious seat is due to be held on June 26. Batra is among the three names proposed to be elected from among persons linked to his or her function in a NOC, chosen in close consultation with the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).
All the proposed members have been vetted by the IOC Ethics Commission, which has conducted integrity checks.
"The addition of the 10 new members would bring the total number of IOC members to 105," the IOC said.
India's lone Olympic Games individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra congratulated Batra on his feat.
"Congratulations to Dr. Narinder Batra on his IOC membership. Wishing him the best for his tenure," the celebrated shooter who won a gold in 2008 Beijing Olympics tweeted.
Congratulations to Dr. Narinder Batra on his IOC membership. Wishing him the best for his tenure.— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) May 23, 2019
With the election of Batra, the number of Indians who are currently active members of IOC will rise to two. Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani was elected as an individual member of the IOC in 2016. She is the first Indian woman to be elected to the prestigious seat.
Former IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh served as a member of the IOC from 2001 to 2014 and has been made an honorary member since then.
Batra will have a rare distinction of becoming a member of the IOC, while heading a National Olympic Committee as well as an international federation (International Hockey Federation). He is the first Indian to have this distinction. He has already become the first Indian to head an international federation of an Olympic sport.
On the proposal to elect 10 new members, the IOC President Thomas Bach said: "IOC members are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, where they promote Olympism and its values.
"These 10 new members proposed to the IOC Session have different backgrounds, but they all have a great passion for and knowledge of the Olympic and sports movement, which will help their mission and will be beneficial for the entire Olympic Movement."
In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the candidates were selected by the IOC Members Election Commission, chaired by HRH The Princess Royal, taking into consideration several criteria such as their expertise in different domains (including medical, sociological, cultural, political, business, legal and sports management expertise), in addition to geographic and gender balance.
The seven proposed Individual Members are: Ntsama Epse Engoulou (Cameroon), Spyros Capralos (Greece), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo (Lesotho), Filomena Africano Fortes (Cape Verde), Tidjane Thiam (Ivory Coast), Erick Thohir (Indonesia) while the other two names related to their position in a NOC are Mustapha Berraf (President of Algerian NOC) and Kee Heung Lee (President of Korean Sport & Olympic Committee).
Hockey India, of which Batra was a long time president, congratulated him on being proposed to be elected as an individual member of the IOC.
"It is a befitting honour to a man who has been instrumental in sports administration in India and as the former President of Hockey India Dr Batra paved the way for revival of Hockey in the country," HI President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.
"While Indian sports is climbing higher echelons with improved performances at the world level, having him as a Member in the IOC will prove beneficial for sports in the country. I wish him the very best in this new endeavour," he added.