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Suresh Kalmadi resigns as AFI President

Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday announced his resignation stating that he wanted to devote more time to his post in the Asian Athletic body.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 18:16 IST

Suresh Kalmadion Saturdayannounced his resignation as President of the Athletics Federation of India to devote more time to his post in the Asian Athletic body.

Kalmadi, who was elected as President of the Asian Athletics Association Council for the second term in Incheon, Korea on August 30 last year, said he wanted to concentrate on the Asian athletics scene and was therefore relinquising his post from the national body.

"I have announced my resignation from the post of AFI President to concentrate on the development of the sport at Asian level and someone else will look after the domestic scene," he said after an Asian Athletics Association Council meeting in New Delhi.

The 15-member Council was meeting for the first time after its election.

Kalmadi, who is also the President of the Indian Olympic Association and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games, said his successor would be elected next week.

"The next president will be decided at an Executive Committee of the AFI on February 26," he said.

Kalmadi also revealed that the Council has decided the calender for the current year and awarded Asian Grand Prixs to Bangalore and Pune in India.

"We have worked out the events for the current year and Bangkok (May 18), Bangalore (May 22) and Pune (May 26) will host the Asian Grand Prix," Kalmadi said.

Kalmadi, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said with the budget coming next week more financial assistance was expected from government.

"We have asked for more assistance from government and the Sports Ministry for development at the junior level to increase our medal prospects since India will host major events in future," he said.

"We have also demanded 150 per cent tax exemption for industries which come forward for the Olympic sports to popularise them in the country," Kalmadi said.

Kalmadi said he would work to bring in professionalism and put athletics on fast track in the continent.

"To bring in professionalism means more coaches, more prize money, sending teams for training abroad, scienticfic training and juniors' development," he said.

"We also want to market our sports better," he said.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 18:16 IST