WFI chief sees `nothing wrong` in Kalmadi, Chautala's appointments as IOA's life presidents
New Delhi [India], Dec.28 (ANI): Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Wednesday said he doesn't see anything wrong in the appointment of Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam accused Suresh Kalmadi and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala as life presidents of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) because it is more of an honorary position.
"This has happened previously also. I do not consider it as IOA's mistake. These appointments have become a source of controversy and it is now turning into a subject or morality. I don't want to comment on the same. These things have happened earlier also," Bhushan told ANI.
Insisting that these kinds of activities have been done previously as well, the WFI president, however, believes that the appointment might affect the sport as well as players.
"This will be going to affect the sport as well as players. Lifetime president don't have a role. This is more of an honorary position. I don't see anything wrong in it. The Sports Minister has intervened in the matter. IOA is governed by IOC and not by ministry," he said.
Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Sports (Independent Charge), 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)