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Tainted Suresh Kalmadi loses AAA elections

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Mon, Jul 01, 2013 09:48 hrs
CBI quizzes Kalmadi over CWG contracts

Scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi was on Monday ousted as the President of the Asian Athletics Association after he lost his re-election bid to Qatar's powerful rival Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad in a tight contest, bringing an end to the veteran administrator's 13-year reign at the helm.

Kalmadi, who was jailed and later released on bail for his alleged role in the Commonwealth Games scam, lost 18-20 in the presidential elections held on the second and final day of the AAA Congress at a five-star hotel.



All the 45 member countries of the AAA voted through secret ballot in the presence of international parent body IAAF chief Lamine Diack. There were seven invalid votes. Each country has one vote in the election.

Kalmadi, a former Indian Olympic Association President, will, however, continue as a member of the IAAF Council till 2015 but will no longer be an area representative from the continental body.

Today's defeat also marked the end of 69-year-old Congress MP's career as a sports administrator as he has already quit from any such post in the country last year after he was charge-sheeted and jailed for his alleged role in the CWG scandal.

The electoral reverse has now led to speculation on whether he would now announce retirement from sports administration since he no longer has any posts.

He will though automatically become a life president of the AAA, an honorary post given to all past presidents, and can attend the Congress of the continental body without any voting rights.

Qatar Athletics Federation President Al Hamad, who is also the incumbent senior vice-president of the AAA as well as the IAAF, will hold office for just two years instead of four.

An AAA source said that the term of its president was curtailed so that it runs concurrently with that of the IAAF chief and it will revert to four years from 2015 onwards.

"There are a lot of opportunities in Asia which we still do not utilise. I see the opportunity is there, but we are not trying to bring that opportunity through constructive planning. We lack in marketing side," Al Hamad had said.

"The IAAF has many Asian sponsors. But AAA is not sponsored by anybody. And why? Because we are not prepared. We don't have that final product to present. That's why we have to have it.

"And I believe that business people don't come to you unless you are really prepared and you have the right product for them. So we need to have the right product for them, the right programme, the right staff, and then businesses come."

The Kalmadi camp said he had done a lot for the growth of athletics in the last 13 years by increasing the number of competition.

"Before 2000, there were just two competitions -- Asian Junior and Asian Senior Championships. Now we have so many other competitions -- Asian Grand Prix Series, Asian All Star, Asian Marathon, Asian Walk Championships. So he has done a lot for Asian Athletics," an official from the Kalmadi camp had said.

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