Lalit Bhanot, the former secretary of Athletics Federation of India, has been elected as a vice-president of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) in Wuhan on Monday.
With Bhanot’s elevation to the post, the AAA now has two sports administrators who were charge-sheeted in the Commonwealth Games graft case — Suresh Kalmadi being the other one. Kalmadi, the former AAA president, was made life president of the Asian body during its council meeting in March.
Bhanot received 32 out of 44 votes to secure the vice-president’s post, the tenure of which is four years. Qatar’s Dahlan al-Hamad was elected unopposed as president for another term.
“Bhanot has been elected as AAA vice-president today,” AFI secretary CK Valson confirmed on Monday.
Bhanot served as secretary of AFI for more than a decade and also held the post of secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association during a period when it was suspended by the IOC.
However, since he was charge-sheeted in the Commonwealth Games related corruption case, Bhanot has been keeping a low-profile in the AFI. He is currently the chairman of AFI’s planning committee.
However, though Bhanot’s influence over matters relating to the AFI seems to be minimal, it is reliably learnt that no major decision, including team selection, is cleared without his consent.
But it is surprising that Bhanot, who was not allowed to contest in the Indian Olympic Association elections last year by the International Olympic Committee on account of his charge-sheet, managed to file his nomination for the AAA vice-president’s post without any protest.