LAHORE, June 20: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has urged its Pakistan chapter to take all the necessary measures in its territory to stop the so-called POA interim committee from using the IOC properties like the term ‘Olympic’ and the ‘Olympic Rings’ along with the emblem of the National Olympic Committee of Pakistan.

According to a letter sent by the IOC legal affairs department, the international Olympic body has categorically stated that only Arif Hasan-led Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is the legitimate Olympic body in the country and the IOC only recognises the POA and no other body.

“The IOC has become aware of the existence of a group of individuals, who have created a so-called ‘POA interim committee’ in Pakistan, making unauthorised use in particular through a website at www.icpoa.org.pk of Olympic properties such as the term ‘Olympic’ and the Olympic Rings along with the emblem of the officially recognised NOC of Pakistan,” stated the letter a copy of which has also been sent to IOC member in Pakistan Syed Shahid Ali.

It stated: “Please note that the POA, currently headed by president Syed Arif Hasan, is the sole National Olympic Committee in Pakistan legitimately recognised by the IOC, and as such is entitled to use the Olympic properties and/or its marks in its territory with the IOC’s approval,” the legal department further stated in the letter.

“On the other hand, the so-called ‘POA interim committee’ has no right to use the above-noted Olympic properties. Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Rule 7 of the Olympic Charter, the Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem, identifications, emblems, flame and torches, as defined in Rules 8-14 below, shall be collective or individually referred to as ‘Olympic Properties.’

“Moreover, pursuant to BLR 7-14 paragraphs 1-2 of the Olympic Charter, each NOC is responsible to the IOC for the observance, in its country of Rules 7-14 and BLR 7-14 of the Olympic Charter. It shall take steps to prohibit any use of any Olympic properties which would be contrary to such rules or their bye-laws,” the letter further stated.

“Such use by this so-called ‘POA interim committee’ clearly infringes upon the rights of the IOC and the POA. This illegitimate use of Olympic properties and association with the Olympic Movement is unacceptable to the IOC.

“Therefore, the IOC requests that the POA takes immediate steps in order that this group of individuals, claiming to be the ‘interim committee of POA’ immediately ceases using such Olympic properties including the use of the word ‘Olympic,” stated the IOC letter.

When contacted to know what kind of actions the POA could take against those using Olympic properties, a senior official of the POA told Dawn that the POA could go to the court in this regard.

Besides filing a petition, the official said, the POA would write letters to the international sports federations with whom the unscrupulous elements making rival bodies in Pakistan are connected to ban their officials for violating the IOC Charter.

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