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In a major embarrassment for Team India captain MS Dhoni, BCCI president N. Srinivasan, a Supreme Court-appointed panel has held his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting and passing on team information during the IPL matches last year.
The panel trashed the statements made before it by N. Srinivasan and India captain M S Dhoni that Gurunath Meiyappan had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and that he was just a “cricket enthusiast” supporting the team.
The panel also said the concerns about N. Srinivasan’s conflict of interest were “serious” and may have “largescale ramifications on the functioning of cricket”.
“The role of Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings as a team official stands proved... allegations of betting and passing on information against him stand proved. However, the allegations of fixing require further investigation,” said the panel headed by Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal, which submitted its report to a bench led by Justice A K Patnaik on Monday.
Another aspect of the probe that went against MS Dhoni was that the panel underlined that players should not be allowed to own any stakes or interests in player agencies or companies involved with cricket, unless such interests are in the nature of sponsorship or endorsements.
MS Dhoni had recently faced charges of alleged conflict of interest over his reported stake in Rhiti Sports Management, which also managed cricketers Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha. The firm had maintained that MS Dhoni was a shareholder only for a brief period, and currently held no stakes.