Suresh Kalmadi is at the center of a new controversy after he chaired a meeting of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) Executive Council in New Delhi, which was attended by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack.
Kalmadi is currently facing corruption charges linked to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and has been forced to step down as President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). But, he retains his key roles in international athletics, including being President of the AAA and a member of the ruling Council of the IAAF.
The main decision taken at the meeting was that this year’s Asian Athletics Championship will still be held in Chennai from July 3-7 despite India being currently banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following a row over the IOA elections.
Maurice Nicholas, secretary of the AAA, claimed to the media in India that he was not aware of the corruption charges faced by Kalmadi, who was re-elected as President of the AAA for a third term in 2009 having held the post since 2000.
The claim has been riducled by Ashwhini Nachappa, President of Clean Sports India (CSI), which is campaigning for sports federations there to be more transparent.
“It is surprising despite detailed letters from Clean Sports India to IAAF and AAA dated 9th July 2011 highlighting that Mr Lalit Bhanot and Mr Suresh Kalmadi who controlled Indian athletics for last three decades and are in jail facing trail for serious corruption charges in organizing the Commonwealth Games AAA Secretary General Maurice Nicholas claiming that,” she said. “The IOC’s Ethic Commission recommendations of suspending the three tainted officials [Kalmadi, Bhanot and V K Verma] was also communicated to IAAF and AAA. It is surprising that the Secretary of AAA Mr Nicholas…saying he is unaware of the CWG scam.”
CSI Convener Reeth Abraham warned that her organization will take up the matter with the IOC.
“This clearly shows IAAF is clearly violating the directions of IOC,” she said. “We will take it up with IOC.”