Ready to give up IOA life president's post if IOC wants: Abhay Chautala
New Delhi [India], Dec. 29 (ANI): Tainted former Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Abhay Singh Chautala, who has been appointed as the life president of the national Olympic body, has insisted that he is ready to relinquish the post if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) tells him to do so.
"If IOC is not favourably inclined to my taking over as life president after the president has had an opportunity of discussing this matter personally with IOC, in accordance with the IOA resolution passed in the AGMs of Guwahati and Chennai, I will be pleased to sacrifice my position, once again, in the best interest of indian sports, sportspersons, good governance, transparency and cleanliness in Indian sports ," Chautala said.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader also hit back at Sports Minister Vijay Goel for his criticism of former's appointment as life president of the national Olympic body, and insisted that he would not step down from the post.
Goel had on Tuesday criticised the IOA for making the tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents, saying that the move was "totally unacceptable" as both of them were facing serious criminal and corruption charges.
"I am surprised at the reaction of the Minister of Sports Vijay Goel and the media attention which was given to this ceremonial recognition of my humble contribution to sports and the sacrifice I have made in 2013 by resigning from the post of president, although I was elected president in accordance with IOA Constitution, Indian Constitution and in a most transparent manner in an election conducted by three eminent judges," Chautala said.
The tainted former IOA president also said that his presence to witness the Rio Olympics was also questioned.
"I am personally aware of the conduct of the Minister of Sports at Rio Olympics where IOC had questioned the behavior of the Minister and his Associates and threatened to withdraw his accreditation. I do not wish to dwell more on this subject as I do not want to embarrass the Minister as well as the Sports Movement in India. If necessary, I will brief the Prime Minister on this issue of Rio Olympics," 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 Sports Ministry on Wednesday decided to issue a showcause notice to the IOA and has said that all ties will be cut with the national Olympic body until Kalmadi and Chautala aren't removed.
Meanwhile, Kalmadi has voluntarily decided to step down from the post, confirmed his counsel Hitesh Jain yesterday.
"Voluntarily he is stepping down and will not hold the post till his name is not cleared by court," Jain told ANI.
Kalmadi has been facing corruption charges for misappropriation of funds during the hosting of 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. He 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)