New Delhi: In a major blow to the aspirations of Suresh Kalmadi, VK Verma and Lalit Bhanot ahead of the IOA elections, the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee has recommended that the tainted trio be suspended from all their functions within the IOA with immediate effect.
The Commission also observed that in view of their tainted history, the trio’s candidature for the upcoming elections of the Indian Olympic Association was “not possible”.
The Ethics Commission’s recommendation came after IOC president Jacues Rogge asked for its view following IOA vice-president Jagdish Tytler’s query on the position of these three officials ahead of proposed IOA election on 25 November this year.
The IOC President had asked the Ethics Commission for its opinion in order to know whether it is possible, according to the Code of Ethics, for Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot to stand as candidates for positions on the IOA Board at the upcoming elections.
“Point B.5 of the IOC Code of Ethics, in the ‘Integrity’ chapter, states that ‘The Olympic parties shall use due care and diligence in fulfilling their mission. They must not act in a manner likely to tarnish the reputation of the Olympic Movement.
“Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot were all tried by a criminal court pursuant to the law on corruption linked to a sports event (2010 Commonwealth Games). The court even sentenced them to preventive detention for several months. For his part, Mr Kalmadi was released, but banned from leaving the national territory unless agreed by the court,” chairman of the IOC Ethics Commission, Youssoupha Ndiaye said in his reply.
“Although, owing to the application of the principle of presumption of innocence, the Ethics Commission cannot take any final decision on the situation of Messrs Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot, it must however recommend a provisional measure to protect the reputation of the Olympic Movement”, the Ethics Commission said.
“In view of this analysis of the facts, the IOC Ethics Commission is of the opinion that it should recommend that Messrs Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot be suspended from all their functions within the IOA until the final decision by the competent court in India,” he said.
“That, in consequence, any candidature from these three men for any position within the IOA is not possible.”
The Ethics Commission also came hard on the IOA for keeping the IOC in dark over the positions of Kalmadi, Verma and Bhanot irrespective of repeated reminders.
“At no time, and in spite of numerous reminders and requests from the IOC, did the NOC (IOC) clearly make any statement regarding the situation of these three officials nor take any provisional measure concerning them,” it said.
All the three officials were jailed and subsequently released on bail in connection with the Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.
Kalmadi was the chairman of the Organising Committee while Bhanot was the Secretary General. Verma was one of the Director Generals of the Organising Committee.