May 26, 2020
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Ashwini Kumar

India's man in the IOC says the charges of bribery against him are flimsy

Ashwini Kumar
The Ethics Committee has accused you of obtaining a ticket worth about $5,000 for Budapest.
I've communicated my stand to the International Olympic Committee headquarters. No member of my family or guest on my behalf visited Budapest in '95 on account of the SLOC (Salt Lake Organising Committee) Bid Committee. Only I visited Budapest on my return journey from Salt Lake City to New Delhi, at no extra cost to anyone.

How did the chairman of the Manchester Bid for the 2000 Olympics help your daughter get admission in the London School Of Economics?
He got us just the admission form. My daughter, who had a brilliant academic record, got admission for strategic studies in 1994. The School has strict admission rules.

Is it an "Anglo- Saxon conspiracy to tarnish Third World members"?
I didn't say this. It's what members from developing countries in Latin America, South Asia, Africa, southern Europe and eastern Europe feel.

Have you been targeted because you're close to IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch?
I feel targeted. All those close to Samaranch feel so. I've been close to him for 25 years.

All I can say is that certain vested interests are behind these attacks.

There were reports in the past that you were offered sexual favours?
I don't go out at night. Besides, my wife is always with me.

Why does India repeatedly fail to win a single gold in the Olympics?
Germany has done some studies on why many developing countries don't do well. The main cause is the lack of infrastructure in India.

But is that enough?
Only when you have proper infrastructure and planning can progress be made.

Is factionalism in federations responsible for India's poor performances?
That does affect performance sports, but it's only a secondary factor.

Don't you help India frame its sports policy?
I do send my recommendations. What else can I do?

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