'CWG-tainted' Lalit Bhanot elected IOA General Secretary unopposed, churns fresh row

Nov 30 2012, 18:56 IST
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Lalit Bhanot unopposed elected as IOA general secretary. (PTI) Lalit Bhanot unopposed elected as IOA general secretary. (PTI)
SummaryBhanot spent time in jail and is hardly a good example for impressionable young sportsmen.

from the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC Ethics Commission's recommendations stated that tainted officials like Bhanot cannot be part of the Olympic movement.

Bhanot, who spent 11 months in jail and later released on bail, was the only candidate in the fray after Volleyball Federation of India Secretary General K Murugan and Judo Federation of India General Secretary Mukesh Kumar decided to withdraw their candidature.

The IOA may have elected its new office bearers, but the threat of them being banned by the IOC still exists. The IOC had said it will propose the suspension of the IOA at its executive board meeting on December4-5 in Lausanne if its elections were held under the Sports Ministry's code.

Meanwhile, an official associated with Bhanot's camp, today justified his election to the post of secretary general, stating that the matter is sub judice.

"Everyone favoured his candidature as he is still not convicted of any charges. He is not a convicted person as the charges against him have not been proved. He will resign from the post if proven guilty by the court. He has always helped in the upliftment of sports. He has been wrongly projected as a tainted person in the media," he said.

Bhanot's election came in for sharp criticism from Randhir Singh, who withdrew his nomination for the post of president in view of the code dispute, and former Indian Hockey Federation chief K P S Gill.

"They have defied the IOC's guidelines. Tainted officials like Bhanot should not have contested, but they are just interested in occupying posts", Randhir said.

"I don't know why an IOA delegation is going to Lausanne at all. They have already declared themselves elected. The IOC wanted the elections to be held under the Olympic Charter. What is there to talk now ?", Randhir remarked.

"I don't know why (IOA Acting President) V K Malhotra has allowed himself to come under pressure. He should have asserted himself and cleared the mess. He will now be responsible for whatever decision IOC takes. It will be a real shame is IOA is suspended", he said.

K P S Gill said that the IOA must clean itself up first and all other problems could be resolved later.

"IOA must clean itself first. Everything else comes later. All sorts of unsavoury characters are there in IOA, you can't make any progress because of such persons", he said.

Gill, who is now the IHF patron, was

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