Six directors of the Dominican Olympic Committee resign and call for elections. @COLIMDO

Six members of the executive board of the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) have resigned from their posts and demanded that elections be held to form a new board. They argued that this was required by the organisation's statutes.

The leaders who left the board are COD first vice-president José Manuel Ramos, second vice-president Irina Pérez, third vice-president Radhamés Tavárez, co-secretary Jorge Blas Díaz, first member Luis Soto and third member Juan Núñez.

"The president, the secretary general and the treasurer of the COD are the people who are in charge on a daily basis and who do not carry out the decisions approved by the executive committee, and this has been happening since the beginning of the administration (December 2022); we do not know how much, how little or how much is spent in this entity," Ramos told the Spanish news agency EFE.

Ramos reiterated that the COD board is made up of 11 members and that according to the organisation's statutes, if more than half of the board members resign, elections must be held within 30 days. The Dominican Olympic body, founded in 1948, is facing an unprecedented crisis.

The president of the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD), Garibaldy Bautista, regretted the resignation of six of the 11 members of the body's executive committee. He declared a permanent meeting. Bautista stated that "the committee will continue to work" and regretted that "the members of its executive for the next four years have decided to withdraw from their functions without sitting down to discuss with the presidency".

"We are going to call an extraordinary meeting of the federations so that an electoral commission can be formed and elections can be held in the Dominican Olympic Committee," reiterated Ramos, who assured that he had warned Bautista that he could not be in charge of the entity's assets. In this sense, Ramos assured that the group he leads "will go to court" if Bautista and the other executive committee members continue in their positions.

The resigning leaders maintain their position that elections must be held in the COD, as the executive committee has been left in a minority, and warned that they will go to the ordinary courts if the five members of the executive insist on remaining in their posts.

" I have warned Garibaldy Bautista that he cannot pretend to continue at the head of the COD when the majority of the members of the executive committee have resigned (...). If they insist on doing so, they will have to take responsibility because we are not going to stand idly by," he said.

World and Olympic 400m silver medallist Marileidy Paulino heads the group of Dominican athletes who have qualified for the Paris Olympics, to be held between 26 July and 11 August. "I ask you to remain united and even more so this year when we have the commitment of the Olympic Games," said the 26-year-old athlete. The Caribbean nation's women's volleyball and football teams have also qualified for the Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) could decide to sanction the COD. This would mean that the delegations would have to compete in the next international competitions without the usual national colours, as happened to Guatemala at the last Central American Games in San Salvador and also at the Pan American Games in Chile. "It would be very embarrassing. Our flag is very beautiful, for me the best in the world," said the gazelle from Nizao, who is also aiming to break the record held by Germany's Marita Koch since 1985.

The Minister of Sport, Francisco Camacho, has called for the Dominican Olympic Committee's executive board to return to "reason and maturity". Camacho, who was a member of the COD and president of the Dominican Taekwondo Federation for a number of years, regretted that the two groups involved in the situation that has arisen in the COD are "aggravating each other".

Ramos called on Luis Mejía, a member of the International Olympic Committee, to respect the statutes. He himself rewrote the statutes when he was president of the COD. Article 43 states that the executive committee can elect a replacement until the next ordinary general assembly in the event that one or more members of the COD leave their post.

The sports leader Luis Mejía Oviedo has made it clear that as a member of the International Olympic Committee he is not going to intervene in the crisis that is affecting the Dominican Olympic Committee. In a video posted on his social networks, Mejia Oviedo said: "Although I have a say in the decisions of the DOC, I have not used and will not use my IOC membership.

"For there to be an intervention here or in any other country, there must be a designation by the IOC," said the president of Centro Caribe Sports, who explained that intervening in the case of the COD was not within his functions. "This is a problem that must be resolved within the Dominican Olympic Committee and I have full confidence that it will be resolved with the maturity of all the members of the committee, because they know the responsibility they have in their hands," said Mejia Oviedo, who prayed for understanding from all parties.