Scam or no scam, Suresh Kalmadi is a well-known sports manager in the world and acknowledging his contribution to the field of athletics, the Asian Athletics Association has decided to honour him with its president’s award.
The award, being conferred on scam-tainted and on bail Kalmadi for his contribution towards the development of athletics in the continent, will be given to India representative Adille Sumariwala on behlf of Kalmadi at the AAA Gala Dinner and award ceremony in China on Tuesday night ahead of the start of Asian Athletics Championships 2015.
AAA president Dahlan Al-Hamad of Qatar will present the award to Sumariwala, who defeated Kalmadi in 2013 race to become president of the AAA India. Kalmadi was named Life President of the AAA in its council meeting in Jakarta in March for his contribution for Asian athletics.
Kalmadi was jailed over the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam while he was serving as president of AAA from 2000 to 2013. He was, however, known for his push to promote top events like Asian Grand Prix series, Asian Indoor Championships and Asian All Star Meet, among others during the period and the award is in recognition of these efforts.
In 1996, he became the President of the Indian Olympic Association and held on to it for two subsequent four-year terms, on 11 October 2008 elected for the fourth time. He held several positions as a sports administrator – President, Asian Athletics Association (AAA) since 2001 and Life President Athletics Federation of India and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi from 3 to 14 October 2010.
Suresh Kalmadi was jailed for 10 months and is currently on bail. He was not allowed by the Delhi High courtto participate in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, saying his participation can cause “embarrassment” to the nation.
Recently, he claimed to be suffering from dementia while in Tihar jail while medical tests were not conclusive about it.