Kalmadi lost the re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad on the opening day of the continental body’s two-day Congress.

Suresh Kalmadi lost his bid for the fourth consecutive term as president of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) on his own turf on Monday.

He lost the contest to Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad of Qatar at the 40th Congress of the AAA by two votes (20-18).

All 45 members of the body voted, and seven votes were declared invalid.

Mr. Kalmadi, who spent nine months in jail on corruption charges over the 2010 Commonwealth Games, had won his first election in September 2000, defeating the then president, Mohamad Hassan of Indonesia, in Jakarta.

An ecstatic Al-Hamad declared: “The members have chosen a new team that they think will serve them and this movement well… We will work day and night to address their concerns and to the benefit of our association.”

Brig. Al-Hamad had a word of praise for his rival. “We cannot forget the contributions made by Kalmadi to Asian athletics through the past 13 years. He did his best, and now we have to take the baton from him and work hard to achieve specific goals.”

Gloom descended on the Indian camp as the outcome belied the confidence with which many of its members had moved around at Holiday Inn on Sunday.

Mr. Kalmadi himself avoided the media, leaving the venue through a side entrance.

The newly elected council will meet on Tuesday to decide on the host of the 21st Asian Athletics Championships in 2015. China and Qatar are the two contenders.

Clean Sports India’s president Ashwini Nachappa said a sordid saga in Indian sport had come to an end.

“What goes around comes around. We will continue to fight for bringing about transparency in Indian sport and bringing about legislation which will not be limited to the top level but right through [to] the bottom,” she said from Bangalore.

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