The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday asserted authority on the digital, video and image rights of the country's Tokyo Games-bound athletes and said it would action against those who do not agree to this arrangement. (More Sports News)
The IOA said that there have been instances of resistance from few Olympic-qualified athletes on the ground that they have sponsorship contracts with other companies or entities. However, the IOA did not take any names.
"This is to inform you that for the Olympics, all digital, video and image rights of qualified athletes are with the IOA and IOA has the authority to utilise the same for all its sponsors etc," IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta said in a statement.
"We have received some resistance from few players through its federations and this is not acceptable by IOA at all and action will be taken on such cases," the statement added.
"IOA is sending you an affidavit which is to be signed by all qualified athletes as per our charter."
The IOA asked all the national sports federations to inform their respective athletes regarding the stipulation.
"The rights used by IOA sponsors will be used in minimum groups to represent Team India of three or more and not individually."
Explaining further, Mehta said that the Olympic-qualified athletes will have to wear only the kits provided by the IOA and action will be taken against athletes, officials or federations if they violate these rules.
He also said that the rules on IOA having the digital, video and image rights of the Olympic-qualified athletes have already come into effect and will last till the end of the Games.
"For example, if the IOA asks a particular athlete to provide us any photo or audio or video footage, he or she cannot deny from giving them on the ground that they are the property of their individual sponsors," Mehta said.
"Moreover, they will have to wear only the kit provided by the IOA and no other," he added.
"Sometimes, some companies try to mislead athletes, saying that they will negotiate with the IOA on their image rights by promising money. We will take action against such companies also. We will deal only with our sponsors."
Around 100 athletes have so far qualified for the Tokyo Olympics which opens on July 23.
The IOA is expecting this number to swell to over 120 after the qualification deadline, which falls at the end of the month for most of the sports.