PT Usha, Yogeshwar Dutt among eight SOMs picked by IOA Athletes Commission

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Former sprint queen PT Usha and Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt were among eight sportspersons of outstanding merit (SOMs) who were on Saturday picked by the newly-elected Athletes Commission to vote during the December 10 elections of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

The other six SOMs are M M Somaya (hockey), Rohit Rajpal (tennis), Akhil Kumar (boxing), Suma Shirur (shooting), Aparna Popat (badminton) and Dola Banerjee (archery). However, the names of the eight SOMs were yet to be officially notified by Justice (retired) L Nageswara Rao, who was tasked by the Supreme Court to prepare the IOA constitution and hold elections. Under the new constitution of the IOA prepared by Justice Rao, the eight SOMs, who will be a part of the General Assembly with voting rights, have four male and four female members.

Also Read: PT Usha, Ilaiyaraaja nominated to Rajya Sabha

The IOA has already approved the constitution under mandatory directive of the Supreme Court. “Yes, the selection of the eight SOMs has been done by the Athletes Commission and Justice LN Rao will notify it. It (the selection) went well,” a source privy to the selection process told PTI on conditions of anonymity. More than 70 former athletes had applied for the roles of eight SOMs and the Athletes Commission of the IOA had formed a five-member sub-committee to shortlist the candidates. It is learnt that some members of the Athletes Commission had pushed for the entire selection process — like the criteria, the points system — to be made public.

The 10-member Athletes Commission was elected on November 14. A day later, boxing legend M C Mary Kom was appointed its president while table tennis ace Achanta Sharath Kamal was made her deputy. The other members of the Athletes Commission are PV Sindhu, Shiva Keshavan, Mirabai Chanu, Gagan Narang, Rani Rampal, Bhavani Devi, Bajrang Lal and OP Karhana.

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