THE PHILIPPINE OLYMPIC COMMITTEE has continued to defy an advice from the International Olympic Committee to accept as member a national sports association recognized by its international federation.
Party list representative Carisa Coscolluela, acknowledged by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) as the new president of the Equestrian Association of the Philippines (EAP), was again barred yesterday from attending the POC general assembly presided by Jose Cojuangco Jr., the former EAP president.
Cojuangco later raised the threat of canceling cycling’s stint in the December Southeast Asian Games in Laos after the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC), based on instruction from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), warned that only the riders certified by PhilCycling president Abraham Tolentino will be accepted in the SEAG.
Although Tolentino’s election was upheld by UCI, the POC chose to recognize basketball team owner and patron Mikee Romero, who took over as PhilCycling president when Rolando Hiso gave up the post recently.
In a letter sent to the POC last July 20, IOC Director for National Olympic Committee relations Pere Miro, citing the Olympic charter, said that a national federation must be affiliated to an international federation recognized by the IOC before the NSA could be accepted as a member of an NOC.
“We hope that this will help clarify or resolve the matters pending and reinforce close coordination and collaboration between your NOC, the NFs and the IFs concerned which, we believe, will benefit the development of sports and the athletes in the Philippines,” added Miro.
In the case of cycling, ACC president Hee Wook Cho said the UCI instruction honoring only the Tolentino-sanctioned riders includes the 2009 SEAG in Vientianne and other Asian-level meets where the Philippines will compete.
“We cannot be dictated upon. We will not surrender our rights to these foreigners,” said Cojuangco, adding that “the authority to send athletes to the SEA Games still belongs to the POC.”