Nita Ambani nominated to IOC
New Delhi: Nita Ambani has become the first Indian woman to be nominated as a member of the International Olympic Committee, following the introduction of a new selection process.
The IOC confirmed Ambani's nomination along with seven others on its website on Friday, saying it was a part of its strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic movement.
Ambani, 52, will formally become an IOC member in elections slated for 2-4 August just before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A founder and chairperson at the Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of conglomerate Reliance Industries, she is married to Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest man.
She is also the principal owner of the Mumbai Indians franchise in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
The Indian Olympic Association said Ambani's presence on the IOC would give a big boost to sports in the country.
"We welcome Nita Ambani's nomination. It is great for India and we hope... Indian sports will benefit from it," IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told AFP.
Despite being the world's second-most populous nation, India has a poor Olympic record, in part because of squabbling federations and mostly inept officials.
Dogged by doping scandals and escalating costs, the IOC in 2014 passed sweeping reforms as part of a push to make Olympic Games cheaper to stage, as well as to bolster the credibility of the organisation.
IOC president Thomas Bach said he hoped the eight new candidates would make great contributions to the Olympic movement, in comments posted on the IOC website.
"They have been vetted by new criteria in keeping with the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020.
"These candidates will add extra strength and diversity to our already universal orchestra of IOC members," Bach said.
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