Rajeev Prasad’s Arrest is an Embarrassment for India
India had quite the performance at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The nation and its athletes won 64 medals, a showing that was expected to help increase pride in national sports. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with Indian sports, a scandal away from the games dominated the headlines.
After Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta was arrested in Glasgow for driving under the influence and without a valid license, IOA chief Vijay Kumar Malhotra publicly asked for tangible consequences.
“This is the first time that such a senior official of IOA, which is country’s premier sports body, has been arrested abroad,” said Malhotra in a statement. “The arrest on the penultimate day of the Commonwealth Games has embarrassed the Indian sports persons who have done so well in the Games. It has also brought disrepute to the IOA.”
“Arrest of IOA Secretary General in a foreign country on the charges of violating law of that land is a very grave issue,” said Malhotra. “IOA president N. Ramachandran, who is in Glasgow, should personally look into this incident, which has brought shame to Indian sports.”
The scandal didn’t just stop with Mehta, however. Another Indian – senior international referee Virender Malik – was arrested in Glasgow on charges of sexual assault.
“At the very outset let me clarify that Virender Malik was not traveling as part of the IOA contingent, so it would not be appropriate for me to comment on him,’ said Ramachandran. “As far as the secretary general is concerned, he is yet to be produced in court, so we will have to wait for a day. For the record, both were not staying at the Games Village. Right now the details are rather sketchy and it would be unfair to jump to a conclusion. We will look into the matter only after the law runs its course.”
Update: Both Malik and Mehta were released on lack of evidence. “Both Rajeev Mehta and Virender Malik have been liberated as the prosecution did not press the cases against them owing to lack of evidence,” a spokeswoman of the Glasgow Magistrate’s Court said