New Delhi: Former treasurer of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Anil Khanna, defended himself saying that he was not involved in the tendering process and was not even a part of the OC at the time the contract was signed.
“I’m not involved in tendering process. The tendering was done by DDA, not AITA, and it was transparent,” Khanna told a press conference on Thursday and added that he was merely working as a custodian of the funds.
“I was not a part of the Commonwealth Games 2010 Organising Committee when the tender was passed. The allegations have personally hurt me and my family.”
Anil Khanna is one of the bigwigs of Indian tennis as he is also the All India Tennis Association executive secretary general. The company in question, Rebound Ace, is an Australian firm specialising in synthetic play courts. Aditya Khanna heads the Indian arm of Rebound.
But the Rebound rubberized surface has been in controversy from a long time due to players’ complaints of increased chances of injury on the turf. Tennis greats like Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt have openly criticized the Rebound turf and it was discontinued from Australian Open since 2007.
Khanna added that the Rebound surface was fine and used successfully the world over. Also, he said that the Indian government had saved Rs 50 lakh with the tender and his son bid for it fair and square.
It was learnt that the synthetic tennis turfs being laid for the Games were done by a company whose CEO is Aditya Khanna, the son of Anil Khanna.
In his defence, Anil Khanna said, “All India Tennis Association (AITA) was never part of the contract process. OC had asked ITF for recommendations and they sent three names including Rebound Ace. After that, DDA floated the tender and picked Rebound Ace, whose quotation, I believe, was much less than the other two. The deal is with Rebound Ace, based in Australia. So my son`s company is not going to get a single rupee."