(ATR) Sheikh Ahmad is confirmed for his eighth term as president of the Olympic Council of Asia at the OCA General Assembly in Bangkok March 3. He was the only candidate nominated.
The day before, his name was cleared for nomination by the OCA Ethics Committee. The committee ruled that the legal problems Ahmad faces in Switzerland should not compromise his standing with the OCA. The committee says the charges are not involved with sport and can be overlooked.
The OCA president is one of five defendants in a case in Switzerland where he is accused of falsifying evidence used in another legal proceeding. Sheikh Ahmad says he will be absolved in the trial that is supposed to take place this month in Geneva. While he has maintained his OCA position, Ahmad has stood down voluntarily from his IOC membership as well as the presidency of the Association of National Olympic Committees, while his case is pending.
"I would like to express my gratitude to Asia’s NOCs for putting their faith in me to serve as OCA President for another four-year term," Ahmad said.
"I made it clear to the NOCs that I would leave it up to them to decide whether I should stand for President. I am here to serve them and I was humbled by their response. I will work hard over the next four years to repay this trust and ensure the best possible support for the NOCs of Asia and their athletes," he said.
In the otherelection of note in Bangkok, Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda was reelected as a vice president. He did not attend the meeting.
Takeda has maintained a low profile since French prosecutors told him in December that he is under investigation over vote buying allegations involving the Tokyo 2020 bid.
Takeda was the leader of the bid, approving a $2 million contract for help promoting Tokyo among IOC members in Africa. Takeda says he did no wrong in approving the contract. Prosecutors say the money went to the now disgraced former IAAF president and IOC member Lamine Diack, who they believe may have distributed the money to colleagues in Africa.
Since the inquiry into Takeda heightened, he has held one briefing for reporters where he read a statement but took no questions.
He has maintained his membership as an IOC member, but did not travel to Switzerland last month to chair a meeting of the IOC Marketing Commission.
Jizhong Wei, the OCA Ethics Committee chair told the general assembly that despite the accusations that Takeda faces, nothing has been proven.
Both the Sheikh and Takeda have files pending before the IOC Ethics Commission. Any action from the IOC commission is likely to follow only after judgments are rendered in the legal matters both men face.
The elections for OCA executive committee members were otherwise routine with but one new member elected. Dr. Thani Al-Kuwari of Qatar is the new vice president for West Asia. He has been secretary general of the Qatar NOC since 2015.
Reported by Ed Hula.