Pune, July 14 (IANS) Suresh Kalmadi, the sacked New Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief, has defended his controversial trip to London and said he has every right to go to the Olympics since no charge of corruption is proved against him.
"I have every right to attend the Olympics. As president of the Asian Athletics Federation, I have been invited by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), of which I am also a council member. I am still the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president," Kalmadi told reporters here Saturday.
"No charge has been proven against me, how can I be called corrupt?", Kalmadi said a day after a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court cleared his London visit.
The CBI court ruling did not go down well with Sports Minister Ajay Maken, who said the tainted sports administrator should not go to London unless he was cleared of charges in connection with the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Reacting to Maken's comments, Kalmadi said the sports ministry was running a vilification campaign against him.
"The sports ministry is vilifying me. I feel Maken's opposition to my trip is unbecoming. He doesn't know the facts and I request our prime minister to ask for Maken's resignation for making such comments and statements."
"In fact, he is making statements against all national sports federations. He just has a habit of talking," said Kalmadi, who is out on bail after spending nine months in Delhi's Tihar Jail.