Complaints About Am. Samoa Olympic Committee Spur Questions

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International Olympic Committee wants explanation of allegations

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Sept. 3, 2014) – A petition by eleven local sports association to, among other things, oust two top executives of the American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC) board has prompted a call by the International Olympic Committee and the Oceania National Olympic Committee to provide complete reports regarding the allegations cited in the petition.

According to the Aug.19 petition, the sports association under the ASNOC umbrella called for an "Extraordinary General Assembly" of the ASNOC and the meeting was then scheduled for Sept. 5.

The petition seeks to remove ASNOC president J. Victor Langkilde for alleged violations of ASNOC bylaws and constitution for making payments and donations without ASNOC approval. It also wants to remove secretary general Billy Young, who they allege is not a U.S. National and therefore does not qualify for the post.

In a Sept. 1 letter to all sports federations, Langkilde said the IOC and ONOC have contacted ASNOC requesting "a full report regarding the National Federation suspensions reported in the media."

According to the petition, one issue of importance which the eleven associations want discussed at the assembly is to "invalidate the suspension" issued by ASNOC for Boxing, Judo, Golf, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling, Softball, Athletics and Table Tennis.

They said the reason for this request is that there are no provisions in the ASNOC Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws that allow such a suspension.

In the Sept. 1 letter, Langkilde also says that due to the "serious nature" of the National Federation suspensions, the "ASNOC executive board has unanimously decided to prioritize the IOC report and table the request for an Extraordinary General Assembly at this time."

The letter says, "It is also important now that the 9 suspended National Federations resolve their status with the ASNOC before calling for an Extraordinary General Assembly." The ASNOC president adds that a "meeting in good faith" for all will still be held Sept. 5 at the ASNOC conference room to discuss any issues or concerns as well as a response to the IOC request.

A former ASNOC executive, who asked not be identified, told Samoa News that the "meeting in good faith" means, that all sports associations — including those who are suspended — are allowed to attend the meeting. The former executive also says that "it may be illegal for the ASNOC executive board to hold an extraordinary general assembly" when there are nine associations on suspension.

Langkilde declined to comment, saying only that the ASNOC is concentrating on the reports to IOC and ONOC.

A spokesperson for IOC has told a sports online news group that they are awaiting a report from American Samoa.

Langkilde told Samoa News last week that there were a number of sports associations that were given notices because they were not in compliance with their rules for governance.

"These associations were asked to comply with what was required for months. In return for these notices, certain associations circulated this [Aug. 19th] petition to other associations on the notion that they were signing this petition to get the required 2/3 to call for an Extra- Ordinary General Assembly," he said.

ASNOC associations signing the petition for the Extraordinary General Assembly are Athletics, Judo, Football Federation, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Softball, Boxing, Paddling, Swimming, Volleyball, and Amateur Wrestling.

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