Former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president, Suresh Kalmadi, was announced as the national sports governing body’s honorary life president on Tuesday.
Kalmadi, tainted by the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal, was also the former Athletics Federation of India president. He was nominated along with Abhay Singh Chautala, who headed IOA between 2012 and 2014, when it was suspended by the International Olympic Committee. The ban was lifted in February, 2014.
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel said in a statement issued later Tuesday that, “We are shocked at the resolution passed by the IOA to make Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala Life Presidents of the IOA which is totally unacceptable to us as both of them are facing serious corruption and criminal charges.
“In fact, IOA was suspended by IOC when Abhay Chautala and Lalit Bhanot were elected as office bearers of IOA and the suspension was lifted only when the two were removed from the management,” said Goel.
Boxing federation issue
The IOA president, N Ramachandran, told reporters after its AGM here that a decision on granting recognition to the newly-formed Boxing Federation will be taken only after its three-member committee consuls the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation.
IABF’s recognition was terminated by the world body in 2013 over alleged election malpractices, but the IOA continued to recognise it.
“The recognised body for boxing as of now is IABF. We cannot have two federations for one sport. So, IOA will first write to IABF, informing them about the claims of BFI and seek its views,” Ramachandran said.
“This is in keeping with the process of natural justice where we are seeking views and clarifications to help proceed further. Once this is known, the IOA will view the matter.”
Sources, however, said that IOA is willing to consider BFI’s application for recognition. “IOA has asked the IABF whether it objects to granting recognition to BFI as it has been recognised by the AIBA as well as the sports ministry,” a source said.
Ramachandran cautioned federations to resolve differences amicably and not rush to courts and that the IOA may even decide not to send entries of athletes sent by disputed federations for international events.
“We do not wish to allow things to drag on. All the disputes should be resolved in three months… A major chunk of IOA’s expenditure has been in fighting legal cases because affected federations drag IOA as main respondents.”