HYDERABAD: The sports fraternity in the city came together on Wednesday to join the campaign, Stop Kalmadi and Save Indian Sports.
BVP Rao, former IAS officer, who is the man behind the Clean Sports India Movement, lauded the players and said the campaign was aimed at bringing pressure on the government to ensure that tainted sports officials were punished for their role in the Commonwealth Games scam.
“We fear that officials like Suresh Kalmadi (president of Indian Olympic Association), VK Verma and Lalith Bhanot will come back to office despite being charge-sheeted.
They have not yet been acquitted and hence ,they should not hold posts till they are cleared of all charges,” he said.
Arjuna awardees Mir Khasim Ali and Mulini Reddy, former captain of national football team Victor Amal Raj and former volleyball international Venkatanarayana extended their support to the campaign by attending a press conference alongside BVP Rao.
Badminton star Jwala Gutta was also supposed to attend but she failed to turn up.
Rao said they were mobilising support from all sportspersons and sports loving public and would submit a memorandum to the International Olympic Council (IOC) to refer the issue to its Ethics Commission.
“We believe that no one in IOA will be willing to take action against Kalmadi as he is the mentor of most of them.
Their loyalties still lie with him.
Most of these members have nothing to do with sports and one cannot expect any justice from them,’’ he said.
According to him, big names like Joachim Carvalho, Dhanraj Pillai and Viren Rasquinha came together in Mumbai to voice their support for the movement.
“We have got support here and we plan take our campaign to Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other places to keep the campaign alive against the tainted officials,’’ he said.
Citing the example of Ashwini Nachappa, he said it was good that the athlete was elected vice-president of the district athletic association in Karnataka.
“I wish more sportspersons do the same here.
It is good to know Venkatanarayan won the Warangal district volleyball elections.
A start has to be made where there are more sportsperson than non-sports people like the politicians and bureaucrats in sports bodies,’’ he said.