Sports minister Vijay Goel has described IOA’s decision to make 2010 Commonwealth Games scam accused Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents as “unacceptable.” Goel has called for a report from the IOA, and has vowed to take necessary action after reviewing the situation.
In a shocking development, a selection panel of the Indian Olympic Association unanimously elected Kalmadi and Chautala as their lifetime presidents despite both having a long list of corruption charges against them.
“We are shocked at the resolution passed by IOA to make Kalmadi and Chautala life presidents. It is totally unrespectable. We shall review the situation and take necessary action. We have asked for the report... will also talk to the IOA office bearers and take necessary steps (sic),” Goel told PTI news agency.
Shocked by SureshKalmadi & AbhayChautala's appointment as IOA life presidents;both face serious corruption charges,will seek a report+action— Vijay Goel (@VijayGoelBJP) December 27, 2016
Former India hockey captain Rajpal Singh said such appointments will continue to take place until sportspersons find support when they contest elections.
“Whenever a sportsperson has tried to contest elections, they haven't found any support. Even the great Chanakya said that good people need to come forward and enter politics, otherwise the bad will continue to rule the good,” the Arjuna awardee said.
Activist lawyer Rahul Mehra, who was part of the panel that drafted the Sports Bill, described the development as “the biggest betrayal of the Indian sports fan.”
“There is a process of transformation that took place because the IOA was suspended by the International Olympic Committee after Abhay Chautala contested the IOA elections despite being charge-sheeted. And after the entire cleansing took place, these people are circumventing the law to get back to positions of power,” he told News18.
“This is coming at a time when the entire country is celebrating sports through the release of Dangal. It is a shameful act and the biggest betrayal of the Indian sports fan.”