Dear Media Friends,
The emergent meeting of the Pakistan Olympic Association was held on 16th July 2022 at Pakistan Olympic House, Lahore under the chairmanship of Lt. Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan, President POA.
The agenda mainly revolved around the Pakistani Contingents for XXII Commonwealth Games, Birmingham and 05th Islamic Solidarity Games, Konya in particular the arbitrary cuts imposed by PSB with no rationale whatsoever and without consulting any of the stakeholders. The Executive Committee (EC) during its deliberation expressed serious concerns at the irrational and drastic reductions in the athletes and in some cases the replacement of officials other than those recommended by the Federations. This reduction without any cogent or plausible reason was noted by the Athlete’s Commission representative who termed this as a very unfortunate development for those athletes who were working hard for years. The EC noted with great concern that these actions by the PSB and that too at this very belated stage have put in peril their participation leaving no choice but to opt for high cost travelling and other arrangements. The EC was unanimous that the rights of all such Athletes will be protected and supported by POA and NSFs ensuring their participation. The EC was of the considered opinion that medals at international levels can only be won if the athletes are provided with enough and regular opportunities at international level for training and competitions. The Chief Medical Officer registered with Organizing Committee since last 6 months and working with concerned departments / individuals for Medical, Doping and Covid issues of Pakistan Contingent had also been excluded. It was noted that while the athletes were dropped the PSB officials/staff were included in disproportionate numbers.
The EC recalled the recent past when athletes lacked support from PSB. This aspect was brought to the notice of Mr. Ehsan ur Rehman Mizari, Federal Minister of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) by the POA with the request that since PSB had refused to support the athletes, POA and the Federations would try to finance them on their own. Mr. Ehsan ur Rehman Mizari, acceding to the request, extended valuable support to send athletes at the mega events to represent Pakistan. The EC thanked the Minister for his understanding and support which was always forthcoming. The final lists of athletes for both games are attached at Annex A and Annex B. The house also stressed that all preventive measures should be in place to safeguard Pakistan contingent from Covid 19.
The EC also considered the reports circulating in the media regarding selection of athlete(s) and noted that all the athletes have been accredited upon the recommendation of their respective National Sports Federations and in some case(s) by their departments particularly those departments who are affiliated with POA and are holding the title of National Champions in the respective sports.
The EC reviewed the situation of the Olympic Movement in Pakistan. The members noted that POA and Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination are engaged in a positive manner leading to resolution of issues and to uphold the Olympic Charter in Pakistan. The EC specially appreciated the role of Minister of IPC in his efforts to remedy past issues. The EC authorized Lt. Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan, President POA to share the recent developments with all stakeholders including IOC and simultaneously continue dialogue with the Mr. Ehsan ur Rehman Mizari, Federal Minister of Inter Provincial Coordination.
The EC took note of the status of the elections and other constitutional prerequisites necessary for the members of POA to attain and retain affiliation with POA.
The house reiterated that there will be no tolerance for use of prohibited substances and urged National Sports Federations to regularly conduct awareness programs and tests. The house appreciated increase in the conduct of doping tests of athletes participating in international events. The EC noted that the cover up for the three adverse analytical findings and anti-doping rules violations coupled with attempts to create a parallel body to National Anti – Doping Organization in Pakistan led to a surge in doping cases.
Muhammad Khalid Mahmood
Secretary General, POA