The Host City Contract (HCC) of the Commonwealth Games, that guaranteed $100,000 to each of the 71 countries, for the preparation of athletes, was so faithfully followed that even the host was paid the amount. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) pocketed it.
Pointing out this glaring fact in its report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, has remarked that the Organising Committee (OC) should have recovered this amount from the IOA as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had a budget of Rs. 678 crore for preparing Indian athletes.
Of course, it was a joke that such an amount was paid to such leading countries of sporting excellence in the Commonwealth, like Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand.
Stressing the collusion between the OC and IOA, the CAG report also highlighted the double payment to IOA, to the tune of Rs. 4.11 crore for renovation of the entire IOA Bhawan, with the understanding of rent-free office space, and Rs. 3.33 crore towards rent and maintenance of the same.
The OC also paid Rs. 3.5 crore to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for office space at Palika Place from July 2008, for offices of the various sports federations.
The CAG report found fault with the OC for making additional payment of Rs. 7.7 crore to IOA, which included the fine amount the Indian Weightlifting Federation had to pay to the international body, after having had a joint marketing agreement with IOA. Actually, it was the sports ministry that had ordered the OC to pay the weightlifting fine.
It remarked that Rs. 8.5 crore, spent on ‘Beijing 2008 Observer programme', that was of little use for the hosting of the Commonwealth Games as no report was submitted by anyone on their return from the Olympics, should have been borne by the IOA and not the OC.
In fact, the report stressed that there was no difference in the positions of higher management of OC and office-bearers of IOA till October 2009. Thus, it was no surprise that the IOA continued to benefit from OC.
Keywords: CWG scam