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Sports ministry to formulate National Sports Development law


New Delhi : New sports minister Ajay Maken Tuesday said the government will come out with a National Sports Development Legislation that would force the sports federations to come down hard to age cheaters, dope offenders and handle cases of sexual harassment strictly.

Maken said that the ministry will put on its website the draft Bill Feb 20 and will invite suggestions from the stakeholders and public for one month before taking it forward.

Maken said that the proposed comprehensive legislation would be based on Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance (BUPOGG), International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter, international legislative practices, anti doping laws, age fraud detection and measures against sexual harassment.

“Some of the core principles enunciated in the BUPOGG as adopted by the XIII Olympic Congress of the Olympic and Sports Movements include, elections to sports bodies should be governed by clear, transparent and fair rules. Adequate procedural regulations must exist to ensure there is no conflict of interests. The term of office should be of limited duration, in order to allow renewal of office bearers on a regular basis. Co-operation, coordination and consultation with governments to preserve autonomy. The resolution passed by the XIII Congress also underlines the essentiality of athletes’ involvement in decision making with full voting rights,” said Maken.

Maken said that the government was trying to support the IOC charter in making things better for Indian sport. He also informed that many sports federation are willing to follow the guideline laid down by the government.

“A large number of federations have already adopted or communicated their intent to adopt good governance principles laid down by the Government from time to time. These include federations such as athletics, badminton, boxing, golf, hockey, gymnastics, rowing, shooting, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and yachting,” said Maken.

Maken hoped for good governance once the legislation is passed in the Parliament.

“Cutting across all party lines, the Parliamentarians earlier had also came out in support of improving the situation of Sports Federations in the country.”

Maken pointed out that the Ted Stevens Olympic Amateur Act of 1978 enacted by the USA can serve as a good example.

The Act provides for reservation of 20 per cent membership and voting rights for amateur athletes who are actively involved in the sport and have represented the USA in the past 10 years.

On anti-doping law, Maken said: “As a signatory to the UNESCO convention, India has shown highest commitment to movement against doping. It is a member of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and has constituted its own National anti Doping Agency (NADA) on the lines of WADA.”

The minister said that in regard to a number of complains as fas as sexual harassament of players are concerned, strict guidelines would be issued. Measures against sexual harassment would aim at ensuring that the guidelines laid down by the Supreme court judgment in the Vishakha Vs State of Rajasthan are implemented and taken into prospective while contemplating protection of women in sports from sexual harassment.

He also said that fool proof guidelines for age fraud detection need to be formulated and put forth as binding legislation.