Ever since his incarceration, Lalit Bhanot has kept a low profile. Accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games graft case, the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) joint secretary, released from Tihar Jail this year, faces an uncertain future.
It may be recalled that the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee had ruled that Suresh Kalmadi, VK Verma and Bhanot be suspended from their IOA functions as they were charge-sheeted for corruption in the organisation of the CWG.
It effectively means Bhanot cannot hold any posts in the IOA’s new dispensation after the November 25 elections, though his and Indian Boxing Federation chairman Abhay Singh Chautala’s names have been doing the rounds for the presidential candidature.
Bhanot told this paper that he hadn’t even read the IOA Ethic Commission’s letter. “Let it come to me and then I can talk about my next course of action,” he said, refusing to comment on whether he’d contest the post of secretary general.
DNA has learnt that Bhanot has been so involved in preparing for the court cases that he has hardly participated in the Kalmadi group’s meetings.
In another significant development, IOA vice-president Jagdish Tytler has decided to opt out of the IOA elections. Tytler ‘s letter to the IOC has made Kalmadi ineligible to stand for a re-election.
“I want to set the IOA house in order as these people have messed up sports administration in the country. They are giving the IOA a bad name,” Tytler said. “I am busy with politics and have no time to take up any sports-related responsibility.”
Tytler also said that he had no objection to Chautala’s candidature. “He is not involved in corruption. I want the IOA to be clean and thus people like Kalmadi should be kept out of it,” Tytler said.