Feb 4, 2013, 8:54 AM EDT
The Indian Olympic Association is suspended by the IOC after the government allegedly interfered with its elections late last year. Now the country’s former Olympics chief is in court on charges of corruption, stemming from his handling of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Dehli.
Suresh Kalmadi pleaded not guilty in a written statement on Monday, along with seven others including Lalit Bhanot, the official whose recent election to IOA secretary general effectively banned the country from the Olympics.
The charges are criminal conspiracy, forgery, abuse of power, and intimidation regarding a deal awarded to Swiss Timing, which served as the event’s official time keeper after wining a $21 million dollar contract.
The court was created to investigate the budget of the Games, which was initially set at about $295 million in 2003, but ballooned to more than $2 billion by the time the Games rolled around in 2010.
The next hearing is set for February 20.
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