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CWG bidding process transparent: OC

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on Wednesday refuted all charges of corruption in the procurement of equipment for the upcoming games and said that the entire bidding process was absolutely transparent.

Addressing a press conference in the capital on Wednesday, secretary general of the Commonwealth Games organizing committee Lalit Bhanot said that the bidding process was transparent and that the tenders were published on the organizing committee website as well as various newspapers.

“Bidding process was very transparent. Tenders were published on website and newspapers,” he said.

Bhanot also defended the high rent paid for renting treadmills, saying that the treadmill rented for the event was not a household one as shown by the media but a professional training treadmill that costs over USD 60,000. He also denied ordering any washing machines or computers.

Media reports had earlier highlighted serious discrepancies in the hiring of equipment for the games.

AK Saxena (joint director, overlays, venue development), who also addressed the gathering denied paying any commission to SMAM, the Australian firm that was hired to raise sponsorship for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Earlier, SMAM had denied receiving any commission from the event`s Organising Committee, claiming that it is yet to be paid for its services.

According to reports in India, the Melbourne-based Sports Marketing and Management`s (SMAM) contract with the OC is under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate for payments worth millions of dollars but the company said the reports were "incorrect".

“Bidding process was very transparent. Tenders were published on website and newspapers,” he said.

Bhanot also defended the high rent paid for renting treadmills, saying that the treadmill rented for the event was not a household one as shown by the media but a professional training treadmill that costs over USD 60,000. He also denied ordering any washing machines or computers.

Media reports had earlier highlighted serious discrepancies in the hiring of equipment for the games.

AK Saxena (joint director, overlays, venue development), who also addressed the gathering denied paying any commission to SMAM, the Australian firm that was hired to raise sponsorship for the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Earlier, SMAM had denied receiving any commission from the event`s Organising Committee, claiming that it is yet to be paid for its services.

According to reports in India, the Melbourne-based Sports Marketing and Management`s (SMAM) contract with the OC is under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate for payments worth millions of dollars but the company said the reports were "incorrect".

"We have already beaten the record sponsorship revenue we gained for Melbourne (USD US85m) and that`s still going, but we have not received a single rupee (from Delhi) yet and there`s money overdue," SMAM head Mike Bushell said.

"(The claims) are disgraceful. I`m not sure what the agenda is," he added.

"SMAM has always operated in full conformity with applicable laws and regulations and any insinuation about inappropriate or unlawful activities is completely unfounded and without substance," read a statement from the company.

SMAM, which raised more than USD 110 million for the Australian Olympic Team, was hired in July 2007 to bring in sponsorships for the October 3 to 14 Delhi Games.

However, there has been a complaint about the fireworks contract signed by another Australian company with the CWG OC. But Andrew Howard, the director of the Sydney firm Howard and Son Pyrotechnics, denied it and said the contract was above board.

"There was nothing that could be in any way deemed inappropriate; it was completely transparent," he said.

The Delhi Games OC is under severe media scrutiny over alleged corruption in the preparations of the event and there has already been a major furore over payments made to a UK-based firm for providing "services" during the Queen`s Baton Relay in London.

From Zee News

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