Minimum amount was spent for London Olympics: IOA

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The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) today rubbished reports that it had splurged more than Rs.4crore during this year's London Olympics, and stated that the expenses incurred by it on its contingent and officials for the Games were under Rs.65 lakhs.

"It was the minimum amount IOA had spent on sending contingents for Olympic Games, in recent times," the IOA Secretariat said in a statement here.

IOA's rebuttal came after a newspaper report claimed that the Olympic body had spent a whopping Rs.4crore on its officials during the London Games.

According to the report, the IOA remitted Rs.86.67 lakh towards entry tickets for sports ministry and Sports Authority of India officials as well as the public. Rs.61.62 lakh was spent on accommodation of IOA delegates and ministry officials and Rs.12 lakh on gift items. The IOA also spent Rs.1.28 lakh on dearness allowance for its Acting President and Rs.37 lakh on the ceremonial kit.

The amount also includes Rs.4 lakh on boarding and lodging of four officials who did not get accommodation in the Games Village and Rs.15 lakh on 10 tickets for the opening ceremony and an event related to the athletes' family and friends.

As per the report, all these were revealed in IOA's reply to an RTI petition filed by Harish Kumar, who is the president of the Taekwondo Federation of India (TFI).

The IOA, however, denied all these figures and said they were far from true. "IOA acted as a post office for receiving and distributing tickets for the Games. All the tickets received by it from the Organisers of the Games were given to those who paid for them," the IOA secretariat said.

The IOA claimed that it had spent only Rs.10 lakhs on the accommodation of 12 delegates of participating sports. "For this purpose five rooms were booked. Each delegate was given Rs.1.25 lakhs as financial assistance. IOA spent four lakhs on four P category officials (two each from shooting and tennis) as they were not entitled to have Games Village accommodation," it said.

"It spent Rs.12 lakhs on mementos, gift items, lapel pins and official booklet. These are mandatory items for any National Olympic Committee (NOC) which sends its contingent in such games. For the ceremonial kit for the all the players and officials, IOA paid Rs.17 lakhs and remaining Rs.21 Lakhs is being reimbursed by the Government," the release added.

The IOA also claimed that according to the rules, the President of the NOCs -- in this case acting president of the IOA, V K Malhotra was entitled to have daily allowance, "This is official and legal," it said.

"Other incidental and miscellaneous expenses incurred during the Games by the Indian contingent were approximately five lakhs," the statement said.

"As far as pocket allowance for the players and officials are concerned it is paid by the Government. IOA has been functioning in a very transparent manner and it has nothing to hide. As soon as the accounts are audited they will be put on IOA's official web site," it concluded.

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