Conflict of interest in Indian sports


N Srinivasan is president of TNCA and president of BCCI. No conflict there as it is the BCCI way. But, Srini is also vice-chairman and MD of India Cements that sponsors a dozen teams in the TNCA league and owns Chennai Super Kings. CSK use the MA Chidambaram Stadium that is leased out to TNCA by the TN government. No conflict there, as very few IPL teams own their stadiums. But favourable terms for CSK have been hinted at as TNCA spends on stadium improvements out of BCCI funds.As secretary of BCCI, Srini used to convene selection committee meetings in the past. These were meetings he and Dhoni dominated. As president of  BCCI, he is known to have blocked a move to sack Dhoni year using a rare clause in the BCCI constitution that the selection committee chairman seeks approval of the board president for teams selected by the committee he heads.Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captain of the Indian cricket team is also captain of CSK. No conflict there as all IPL teams were free to bid for him in 2008. However, Dhoni is also vice-president now of India Cements, a position given to him to make him eligible for the BCCI corporate trophy but he hasn't played a match yet in the tournament.
At some point, Dhoni was owning shares in the company Rhiti Sports that manages his endorsements and commercial contracts. He and his wife still own shares in other companies associated with Rhiti Sports and dealing with a motorcycle racing team Dhoni owns/sponsors.The company manages Raina, Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha and as captain Dhoni was in a position to do them favours in their careers.Krish Srikkanth, who was chairman of selectors till 2012, was also brand ambassador of CSK from 2008-2010.
He was being paid directly by an IPL team while he was in a privileged position to pick Indian teams at meetings which Dhoni also attended as captain without vote but with considerable influence. Kasi VIswanathan, secretary, TNCA, was a long-term employee of India Cements and one of Srini's trusted lieutenants in running Indian cricket.
P.S. Raman, former public prosecutor of TN, is a VP of TNCA. He is also Srini's per sonal lawyer. He is also legal consultant for TNCA and BCCI. His presence at the handing over of Meiyappan to the Mumbai police for interrogation and later arrest was commented upon in legal circles.
Gurunath Meiyappan, Srini's son-in-law who is not an employee of India Cements but whose wife Rupa is a director, was CSK team principal/CEO/team functionary/enthusiastic person who travelled with the team and had obvious conflicts of interest as kin of BCCI president.
Anil Kumble: As president of KSCA and managing Tenvic, a sports management and training firm, Aniling firm, Anil Kumble was in a potential conflict of interest vis-a vis managing the portfolios of a few Karnataka cricketers and his official post.Though the cricketers in his company had already represented the state and on their own merit, eyebrows were raised when Kumble signed them on. Tenvic is run by Kumble, his brother Dinesh and Vasanth Bharadwaj, a former table tennis champion.
Venkatesh Prasad: The vice-president of KSCA was at one time handling three jobs in his capacity as ACC development officer, the Chennai Super Kings bowling coach and his KSCA post.Prasad, who replaced Roger Binny at ACC, however, moved to RCB two years ago as bowling coach to reduce the possible conflict of interest which again kicked up when Kumble left RCB and took up the role of Chief Mentor at Mumbai Indians this season.
Pullela Gopichand: National selector, coach and head of a coaching academy, Gopichand dons many hats. The former All-England champion was caught in the eye of the storm last year when Maharashtra badminton player Prajakta Sawant moved the Bombay High Court alleging discrimination in team selections.
Prajakta, who was denied entry to the national coaching camp at Gopichand's academy, found support from Jwala Gutta and the Bombay High Court sought an explanation from the Badminton Association of India on Gopichand's multiple roles.
“If the chief national coach is allowed to run his own private academy, there is bound to be a conflict of interest,“ Jwala was quoted as saying then.

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