Special court allows his plea to visit London Games

The visit of Suresh Kalmadi, who is facing corruption charges, to London for the Olympic Games will “defy the ‘Fundamental Principles of Olympism’ as enshrined in the Olympic Charter,” said the Union Sports Ministry’s letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Friday. It urged the IOA not to facilitate his visit to London for the Games.

Mr. Kalmadi, former Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, is facing corruption charges in the organisation of the Games in Delhi in 2010.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had recently written letters to the IOA seeking to know the latest position in Mr. Kalmadi’s court case and the action it was contemplating.

The IOC was informed that Mr. Kalmadi had assured the IOA that he would no longer be functioning as its president, a post which he even now holds, since he was busy with personal matters including court cases.

The IOC, which views corruption charges against sports administrators seriously, seems to have been satisfied with the IOA’s explanation for the time being at least.

As a Council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Mr. Kalmadi would be able to gain Olympic accreditation and enjoy other privileges extended to such members at least at the athletics venues. In the normal course, a Council member would also be a member of the jury on a day-to-day basis at athletic events.

“Arguments are over”

“Accused No.1 [Kalmadi] is a member of the IAAF Council and president of the Asian Athletics Association, and arguments on the charge on his behalf are already over. The arguments on charge of the other accused are going on and will take time in concluding. Accordingly, Mr. Kalmadi’s application is allowed,” the judge said.

Mr. Kalmadi had placed on record the invitation from the IAAF Council and the general programme schedule of the Olympics and the Games tickets he had received from IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel.

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