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Charges against Indian CWG officials dropped

Last updated on: August 04, 2014 22:56 IST

Charges against Indian CWG officials dropped

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Charges of drunken driving against Indian Olympic Association secretary-general Rajeev Mehta and sexual assault on wrestling referee Virender Malik during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have been dropped due to lack of evidence, according to reports.

The charges against both the Indian officials were dropped and the matter did not come up for hearing at the Sheriff's Court, according to an Indian High Commission official.

The decision to let off the two officials came as huge relief for the Indian contingent.

"Charges against both of them have been dropped due to lack of evidence. They have been released without any charges being framed," the High Commission official said. The Indian Consulate in Edinburgh was liaising with the police on the matter. 

The Consulate in Edinburgh had deputed an official to Glasgow to keep in close touch with the police authorities to ascertain full factual details of the case. Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association secretary Anandeshwar Pandey, who is part of the IOA delegation and was at the court, said the officials were released after primary investigation. 

"During primary investigation, they (Scotland Police) couldn't find enough evidence to frame charges. So they were let off without being produced before the court," Pandey said. Elaborating on the incident, Pandey said that Mehta was driving a friend's car and there was a minor accident while coming out of the parking lot.

Earlier, in a massive embarrassment for India, the two senior officials in Glasgow were arrested by the police on Saturday and produced in court on Monday. While Mehta was arrested for alleged drunken driving, Malik, who is not a part of the official contingent was facing a more serious charge of alleged sexual assault.

The duo was were not staying with the official 215-strong contingent which had putt up at the Games village. Both were reportedly lodged at a local hotel.

The Wrestling Federation of India had earlier on Monday suspended referee Malik with immediate effect.

The president of the WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, took the decision to suspend the tainted official but the federation will wait for details from Scotland police before enforcing a ban.

"The news of Malik's arrest came yesterday and since it was a Sunday and the office was closed, the decision to suspend Malik was taken today by the WFI president. The first thing the president did today was issue a suspension against Malik with immediate effect," assistant secretary of the WFI Vinod Tomar said on Monday evening.

"We are, however, awaiting the investigation report before finalising his suspension. Once we get the report and are satisfied that the charges against him are true, we will suspend him permanently from all national and international tournaments," he added.

Tomar said the WFI will need to make sure on its part if Malik is actually guilty.

"We don't know what happened in Glasgow. We need to make sure that charges against him are all correct before taking any harsh action against him," he insisted.

The assistant secretary said Malik had been to a number of countries before as a wrestling referee but no such incident had ever been reported.

"Recently also he had been to Slovakia as a referee in a competition but no such incident was reported. If we even had an iota of knowledge about his background, we would not have sent him to any international tournament," said Tomar.

Besides Malik, IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta was also arrested for alleged drunken driving.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said a decision on any action against Mehta and Malik will be taken only after going through the report on the charges against them.

"We are going to get the details of the incident after the hearing. We are awaiting the report," said Sonowal.

"Depending on what is there in the report, we will take a stand," the minister added.

The two officials will be produced before a court later on Monday.

Asked if specific guidelines will be issued to officials travelling with India's contingents in future, the minister replied: "This is a question of prestige of the country. So everyone, whosoever participates in these kind of events, must always see that the country's prestige does not get hurt."

Meanwhile, legendary athlete Milkha Singh said the government must take stern action against the officials.

"Our athletes did the country proud at the Commonwealth Games but because of these officials our country draws a bad name. Government should take action. They have misbehaved and their actions are a blot on the country's reputation," said Singh.

"These officials should be banned from going abroad in future. Tomorrow, when other officials go in a foreign country, they should know how to conduct themselves," he added.

Next: Serena announces return to form with Stanford win


Image: TV grab of Indian officials Rajeev Mehta (left) and Virender Malik
Photographs: PTI

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Serena announces return to form with Stanford win

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Serena Williams showed she has made a full recovery from recent health issues by beating Angelique Kerber 7-6(1), 6-3 in the final of the Stanford Classic on Sunday.

Williams, playing in her first tournament since being forced to retire from a Wimbledon doubles match because of a viral infection, took the Stanford crown for a third time and won her fourth title overall this season.

Her return to fitness has come at just the right time with the US Open set to start on Aug 25. "I have a lot of confidence going but every week is a new week and hopefully I can just try to improve,” Williams, who also took the title in 2011 and 2012, told reporters.

Her latest victory was far from easy as Williams had her service broken twice in the opening set and fell behind 5-1. The 17-times grand slam champion rallied to tie the score and eventually dominate the tiebreaker 7-1.

“I blinked my eye and I was down 1-5 and Angelique was playing so well,” the 32-year-old said. “I tried to relax and just think about making my shots.”

Williams claimed a 2-0 lead in the second set and held off her German opponent the rest of the way. She fired six aces and did not face a break point in the final set.

Kerber was looking for her first singles crown of the season but instead lost her fourth final of 2014.

“I gave everything I could out there,” Kerber said. “When she was down she started hitting the ball better. It’s a special thing she has.”

Next: McIlroy claims No 1 ranking


Image: Serena Williams of the USA holds up the trophy after beating Angelique Kerber of Germany in the finals of the Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium
Photographs: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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McIlroy wins Bridgestone to claim No 1 ranking

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Rory McIlroy continued his dominating form when he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by two strokes on Sunday and regained the world number one ranking, replacing Australia's Adam Scott.

McIlroy made a sizzling start to the final round with three consecutive birdies to quickly erase a three-stroke deficit and surge past Sergio Garcia at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

The Northern Irishman carded a 66 to finish at 15-under-par 265, while Spaniard Garcia (71) was second on 13-under, with Australian Marc Leishman (67) another shot back in third place.

Defending champion Tiger Woods pulled out of the tournament after aggravating his troublesome back, raising more questions about the playing future of the 14-times major champion.

McIlroy, 25, took the world number one ranking for the fifth separate occasion, and the first since March of last year, displacing Scott, who had been on top for 11 weeks.

McIlroy, who won the British Open in his previous start two weeks ago, collected $1.53 million for his first victory in a World Golf Championships event.

And he did not sound like he was ready to rest on his laurels as he heads to the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Kentucky, where he will seek a fourth major title.

“Mentally I’m really sharp,” he told reporters. “It’s the most comfortable I’ve ever felt trying to close out a golf tournament out there today.

“It felt normal, like a first or second round. It didn’t feel like the fourth round. I didn’t get ahead of myself. I just kept playing shot after shot after shot.

His current form is the best of his career, he said, even better than at this time two years ago, when he won the PGA Championship by eight strokes.

Even the early departure of Woods, who pulled out on the ninth hole after aggravating his surgically-repaired back, could not steal the limelight from McIlroy.

But the Northern Irishman acknowledged he had a long way to go to be spoken of in the same breath as Woods.

“I’m not comparing myself. He’s done this millions of times,” McIlroy said.

Next: Raonic beats compatriot Pospisil


Image: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds the Gary Player Cup trophy after winning the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
Photographs: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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Raonic beats compatriot Pospisil in Washington

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Milos Raonic won the first all-Canadian final of the professional era when he beat Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Citi Open in Washington on Sunday.

Second seed Raonic took barely an hour to dispose of Pospisil on the hardcourt at the William HG Fitzgerald Tennis Center, breaking serve three times in the first set.

The second set was a tighter battle as Pospisil raised his game before Raonic delivered the knockout blow in the 10th game for his sixth ATP title, his first of the year.

Raonic, 23, playing his first event since making the Wimbledon semi-finals, is projected to rise from seventh to sixth in the ATP rankings.

"I couldn’t have imagined starting that well," Raonic told ESPN.

"It’s tough after a few weeks away. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to lead into probably my most enjoyable part of the year."

Next up for both players is a home game or sorts, the Rogers Cup starting in Toronto on Monday.

In the women's final, sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia beat Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in a match that stretched over two hours.

Kuznetsova broke Nara's serve five times but was broken herself on three occasions.

Next: Bolt targets sub 19-second in 200m


Image: Milos Raonic of Canada poses with fans after defeating Vasek Pospisil of Canada during the mens final of the Citi Open at the William HG FitzGerald Tennis Center
Photographs: Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Bolt targets sub 19-second 200m

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Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt says he wants to concentrate on smashing the 19-second barrier for the 200 metres following his cameo appearance in the Commonwealth Games.

The 27-year-old Bolt, double Olympic champion in 100m and 200m and a five-times world individual champion, wants to take his 200m world record below 19 seconds.

"I've said I want to run sub 19 for 200m - that's one of my biggest goals and my biggest dreams," the 27-year-old Bolt, who helped Jamaica to the 4x100m relay title in Glasgow, told the BBC. "I think I've done enough in the 100.

"I know people want to see me run fast in the 100 but I love my 200 and I want to do something special for myself. So for me, my main aim is the 200."

Bolt, the 100m world record holder, set the 200m record of 19.19 five years ago in Berlin.

"The world record can keep going down. You never know who's going to show up next and dominate," he added.

"I've said I want to run sub 19. That's one of my biggest goals and my biggest dreams, so I'm definitely going to be training hard and seeing what I can do."

Next: Real lure Costa Rica keeper Navas


Image: Usain Bolt of Jamaica
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Real lure Costa Rica keeper Navas from Levante

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Real Madrid have agreed to sign highly-rated Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who shone at the World Cup, from La Liga rivals Levante on a six-year contract, the European champions said on Sunday.

"The player will be presented on Tuesday ... on the VIP tribune at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium after undergoing the necessary medical examination," Real said on their website.

Levante also confirmed the deal and thanked Navas for his contribution and professionalism since he joined the Valencia-based club in 2011.

Neither club disclosed financial details but Spanish media reported Real had agreed to pay 10 million euros ($13.4 million) for Navas, in line with the buyout fee in his Levante contract.

Known as the "Falcon of Costa Rica" for his agility, Navas was one of the top players at the World Cup finals in Brazil and his brilliant form helped the central American nation unexpectedly reach the last eight.

The 27-year-old was hailed last season as the world's number one keeper by Joaquin Caparros, who was Levante coach at the time, and his arrival at Real is likely to signal the departure of Diego Lopez.

It will also increase the pressure on captain Iker Casillas, who has been under fire in recent months after a series of errors and a woeful World Cup showing when holders Spain failed to advance beyond the group stage.

Navas's performances last season, including a series of memorable duels with Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo, prompted the official La Liga website to proclaim him "the league's best" ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid's Thibaut Courtois.

A modest and quietly-spoken character with deeply held religious beliefs, Navas spent his first year in Spain playing for second division Albacete before Levante came calling.


Image: Costa Rica midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda (17) hugs Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas
Photographs: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

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