CWG Organising Committee Suspends Three Officials

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS): The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) Thursday suspended T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahendroo and M. Jayachandran, whose names featured in the financial irregularities related to the Queen's Baton Relay, following the report submitted by its probe panel looking into the allegations.

On a day of swift action, CGOC treasurer Anil Khanna, too, resigned in the wake of allegations that his son's firm secured the contract for laying synthetic courts at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium, one of the venues for the Oct 3-14 Games.

Former Hockey India (HI) president A.K. Mattoo, who was the treasurer before Khanna, will take up the job again with the Games less that two months away.

In another important decision, the CGOC executive board decided to terminate the contract of Australian company Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM), which was looking after the sponsorship deal for the Games, on grounds of "non-performance".

Lalit Bhanot, the secretary general of CGOC, put up a brave front while declaring the decisions of the executive board, which met here Wednesday, in front of a crowded press conference and said there is no threat to the mega-event.

"The probe committee met and submitted their report. The executive board has decided to suspend T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahendroo and M. Jayachandaran. Though Mahendroo is not on our rolls anymore, we will refer all the names to the Enforcement Directorate to further investigate it," said Bhanot.

The names of Darbari, joint director of CGOC, Mahendroo, CGOC deputy director general, and Jayachandaran, director general (finance and accounts), figured in the investigations into alleged irregularities into services provided during the Queen's Baton Relay in London last year.

Bhanot said that the executive board also decided to terminate the contract of Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM), the Australian company, on the basis of "non-performance".

"The chairman of the CGOC formed a three member committee especially in regards to the queen's baton relay, overlays and SMAM. We have decided to terminate the contract with SMAM. We could not take this decision earlier because of our legal advisory. We have terminated them on the basis of -performance. They had a target of $122 million to meet by 30th June, and they failed in their commitment," said Bhanot.

"Not a single paisa has been paid to SMAM though there were few commitments. There is no failure on the part of OC. Whoever is involved will be punished," he said.

On the issue of overlays, Bhanot said: "The overlay was discussed. The Central Vigilance Committee (CVC) will look into the quality and the quantity of the overlays. The overlays need to be matched with the stadiums. These things are not provided with the venue owners. On all overlays, we are writing to the cabinet secretary to look into the matter."

Asked if CGOC chairman Suresh Kalmadi should also resign taking the blame, Bhanot said: "There are more than 1,500 people in this organisation with so many sections. The senior management is not controlling all departments. It is very difficult to put the blame on one person. We need to deliver a successful games."


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