The Government has expressed shock at the appointments of Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam accused Suresh Kalmadi and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala as being made the life presidents of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), saying the move was totally unacceptable as both were facing serious corruption and criminal charges against them.
Addressing a press conference, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel said, “We are shocked at the resolution passed by the IOA to make Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents. This is totally unaccepted to us as both are facing serious corruption and criminal charges against them.”
“In fact the IOA was suspended by IOC when Abhay Chautal and Lalit Bhanot were elected as office bearers of IOA. The suspension was lifted only when both were removed from the management,” he added. The Sports Minister further insisted that sports governance is a public function and it should be governed by public law.
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“We have sought the details and on receipt of complete report, we shall review the situation and take appropriate steps. Our government is committed for good governance in sports,” he said. As per sources, the decision to appoint Chautala and Kalmadi as life presidents was unanimous. A resolution was moved by Joint Secretary Rakesh Gupta and a total of 150 people, who were a part of the meeting in Chennai, agreed to it.
The sources also said that the decision was taken as a part of a tradition where all ex-presidents are made life presidents.
Kalmadi served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal but later released on bail. Meanwhile, Chautala was earlier this month certified as the chief of the Haryana Olympic Association (HOA) by the IOA.
Chautala served as the president of the IOA from December 2012 to February 2014 when the IOA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections. His election as IOA chief was annulled by the IOC.
Only after the IOA Constitution was amended to ensure that charge-framed candidates are not allowed to contest elections, the IOC revoked the suspension on IOA in February 2014.