Godara `not surprised` by Kalmadi, Chautala's appointment as IOA life presidents
New Delhi [India], Dec.28 (ANI): Asserting that the appointment of Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam accused Suresh Kalmadi and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala as the life presidents of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is sending a `bad example` to the entire world, former marathon runner Sunita Godara on Wednesday said that she was not at all surprised by the move as she has been watching these corrupt activities in sports federation from so many years.
"As an Asian marathon champion, it is not surprising for me because I have been watching these people in sports arena, sports federation, IOA for last 35 years and nothing has changed -corruption wise, the way they had handled the athletes like slaves. Whatever has happened, Kalmadi and Chautala all these people are supported by IOA and they were made life presidents. I am not surprised," Godara said in an exclusive interview to ANI.
The 57-year-old athlete said that she heard Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel expressing shock over the appointments and, therefore, she hopes to see the Sports Ministry taking immediate action against the same.
"This is always happening with sports arena and now what Sports Ministry is taking the step. I heard Sports Minister saying that it is not acceptable and he will take report and then he will take some action. I am hopeful that now the ministry will use their power and they will take action against such people.. What has happened today through IOA for Kalmadi and Chautala, it is like setting the bad example. The whole world is watching us," she added.
The Sports Minister yesterday said that the move was totally unacceptable as both were facing serious corruption and criminal charges.
"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 insisted.
"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 added.
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.
Kalmadi served as the 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. (ANI)