THE TOP ORGANISER of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Suresh Kalmadi, hit out yesterday at what he suggested was a biased corruption probe that has seen him sacked and two of his colleagues arrested.
In a press release, Kalmadi complained that the “entire focus” of corruption allegations surrounding last year’s Games had been on his Organising Committee, and argued that government officials involved in the event had been given a free ride.
The investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) “is ignoring the fact that (organising) decisions were made at various levels”, Kalmadi said.
“There has been no apparent interrogation of government officers who have been part of, if not overseen the whole process,” he said, adding that the sports ministry had been involved in every step of the Games planning.
Kalmadi’s remarks came a day after the CBI arrested the organising committee’s director general, V K Verma, and its secretary general, Lalit Bhanot, over alleged financial irregularities.
Bhanot and Verma were accused in November by the CBI of entering into a “criminal conspiracy” with Swiss Timing, the company responsible for timing events at stadiums at the October 3-14 Games.
Both men have denied any wrongdoing, as has the company, which was also the official time-keeper at the Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics.
The sports ministry formally dismissed Kalmadi and Bhanot from the organising committee last month.
The cost of the Delhi Games ballooned to an estimated $6bn (£3.72bn), and the event was marred by venue delays and chaotic organisation.
The national anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), received complaints alleging up to $1.8bn (£1.11bn) of Games money was misappropriated.