Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Suresh Kalmadi, Abhay Chautala’s appointments in IOA a step backwards for Indian sports

The Indian Olympic Association appointed Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as its life presidents.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
December 27, 2016 10:25:44 pm
suresh kalmadi, kalmadi, abhay chautala, indian olympic association, ioa, ioa president, sports news, sports Suresh Kalmadi was involved in the 2010 CWG scam. (Source: Express archive)

A political leader who was involved in one of the biggest sporting scams and another one who almost got Indian Olympic Association derecognised were on Tuesday given crucial position in the same. Yes, 2010 Commonwealth Games scam tainted Suresh Kalmadi and former IOA president Abhay Singh Chautala have been appointed as the life presidents of IOA, raising many eyebrows.

Kalmadi, who served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011, was charged with conspiracy, forgery, misconduct and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the CWG scam. He was later released on bail.

At a time when the country is focussing on winning medals in the Olympic Games, the IOA has taken a step backwards by appointing two corrupt people as life presidents. Expressing concern over the decision, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that the appointment of Kalmadi and Chautala is a “serious issue.”

Kalmadi, a former Member of Parliament, was the chief of the 2010 CWG Organising Committee but was later sacked for his alleged abuse of power and also for causing a loss of Rs 90 crore. The CBI had framed charges against him and he was later sent of jail for 10 months as well. Even his political party, Congress, suspended him from the party in 2010.

Kalmadi was a powerful sports officials in his heydays. He was the president of Asian Athletics Association for 13 years from 2000 to 2013. He was last year made Life President of the Asian athletics body last year. Kalmadi, now 72, was also a member of the powerful ruling council of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) from 2001 to 2013.

Chautala, on the other hand, served as president of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation which was later terminated in 2013 for rigged elections. However, the IOA still ignored their tainted record and appointed them the life presidents.

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