IOA nullify appointments of Kalmadi, Chautala as life presidents

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Tuesday, revoked its decision to appoint "scam-tainted" Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its Life Presidents, according to media reports.

Along with him, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala was also chosen to be the life president of IOA.

But after a major uproar by the sports ministry, the BJP and the Congress over their appointment, first Suresh Kalmadi and later Chautala, refused the position.

Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA's Annual General Meeting in Chennai on 27 December, shocking the Indian sporting fraternity and leaving the Sports Ministry fuming.

The decision that had invited severe criticism prompted the Union Sports Ministry to serve a show cause notice to the IOA and threaten to sever ties with the body.

"I am happy that IOA has reversed its decision, which augurs well for governance of sports in the country [.] The IOA has complied with its own constitutional obligation [.] In the renewed circumstances, we look forward to partnering with IOA", Sports Minister Vijay Goel said.

In a letter to the IOA earlier this week, Kalmadi wrote the time to accept the role of life president was not "appropriate" and he will accept it when his "name will be cleared".

The IOA, which was suspended by the Sports Ministry following the nominations, is likely to send a written communication informing the government of its decision by Wednesday.

The IOA had defended the appointment saying it is "constitutionally a legitimate decision" and also emphasising that these are "honorary posts" and no executive authority would be given to Kalmadi and Chautala.

Kalmadi served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his role in 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption case.

The IOA's associate vice-president Narinder Batra, who was elected head of the International Hockey Federation in November, resigned from his post in protest over the appointments of Kalmadi and Chautala.

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