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IOA annuls decision to appoint Abhay Chautala, Suresh Kalmadi as life presidents

On December 30, the sports ministry had suspended the IOA for not replying to a show-cause notice that asked the body to explain why it had named Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life-presidents.

Succumbing to the backlash following its decision, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday annulled the decision of Abhay Chautala and Suresh Kalmadi’s appointment as life presidents.

Reportedly, IOA president N Ramachandran said that there was no resolution passed for the same in Chennai AGM.

It is to be noted that scam-tainted Kalmadi and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Chautala were earlier appointed life presidents of IOA. They were appointed after a resolution was moved by Joint Secy Rakesh Gupta in the IOA’s annual general meet in Chennai on December 28, when IOA said their return to top sports body was ‘unanimous’.

However, the decision immediately backfired with heavy criticism.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel had said that the government is shocked with Kalmadi’s and Chautala’s appointments. “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,” Goel said.

On December 30, the sports ministry had suspended the IOA for not replying to a show-cause notice that asked the body to explain why it had named Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life-presidents. Amidst such opposition, Kalmadi and then Chautala rejected the posts.

It is to be noted that Kalmadi served as 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.

On the other hand, Chautala served as the president of Indian Olympic Association from December 2012 to February 2014 when the IOA was suspended by the parent International Olympic Committee for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections. His election as IOA chief was annulled by the IOC.

Kalmadi, who was jailed and later released on bail in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, served as president of Asian Athletics Association (AAA) for 13 years from 2000 to 2013 and was also credited with the introduction of top events like Asian Grand Prix series, Asian Indoor Championships and Asian All Star Meet, besides other competitions.

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