Former Indian Olympic Association president Abhay Singh Chautala hit back at Vijay Goel, who had criticised his appointment as life president of the IOA, saying he was surprised by the reaction and that the Sports Minister had failed to fulfill his responsibilities.
Goel on Tuesday said it was "totally unacceptable" that Suresh Kalmadi, a politician accused of several offences in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games scam, had been appointed lifetime president of the IOA along with Chautala as both of them were facing serious criminal and corruption charges.
Kalmadi and Chautala were made life presidents by the IOA at its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on Tuesday.
"I was surprised by the reaction of Sports Minister Vijay Goel. He was claiming that there are criminal and corruption cases against me. The case against me is not a criminal case, it is a political case," Chautala said.
"Mr Goel has failed in his responsibility as a Sports Minister. I would advise him to fulfill his responsibility as Sports Minister because if he does that, our medal count will increase manifold and he will get credit for that. Instead of getting into a controversy without knowing full facts, he should focus on his job," Chautala added.
Chautala questioning the timing of Goel's comments over his appointment, said he has done enough for Olympic sports in India to deserve the IOA life president's post.
"As far as Mr Goel's pain over our appointment is concerned, he should be asked, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tenure as Prime Minister, a Sports Council was made and in that Sports Council, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra was the chairman and I was made the vice-chairman with him. If I had not made any contribution to sports, why was I considered for that position?" Chautala asked.
"And if my presence was so painful for Mr Goel, why did he not raise objections then? As Boxing Federation President for 12 years, I put Indian boxing at a pedestal in the world. It was all because of Haryana's sports policy," he added.
Kalmadi served as IOA President from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal but was later released on bail.
Chautala served as the President of IOA from December 2012 to February 2014 when the national Olympic body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections. His election as IOA chief was annulled by the IOC.
(With PTI Inputs)