Three cycling officials deflated and banned over financial misdeeds | Sunday Observer

Three cycling officials deflated and banned over financial misdeeds

27 September, 2020

Three former Cycling Federation officials have been banned from holding office in any National Sports Association after being found guilty of financial misconduct by a Committee appointed by the Sports Ministry’s Department of Sports Development.

Amal Edirisooriya, the Department’s Director General, fired three notification letters declaring that the Cycling Federation’s former President N. Karunaratne, former Secretary Nihal Gunasekara and former Treasurer Senaka Ranasinghe have been found guilty of their misdeeds and banned.

A senior official of the Sport Ministry said the three officials, who were given an ultimatum to submit the audited financial accounts to the Ministry of Sports, failed to appear before the Inquiry Committee that triggered their life bans.

According to a declaration by the Department of Sports Development, which is under the Ministry of Sports, all National Sports Associations should present their audited financial reports within two months of the fiscal year-end but the Cycling Federation failed to submit their accounts for 2018 and 2019.

The Sports Law states clearly that any office bearer or executive committee member who violates the Law is ineligible to contest an election in any of the National Sports Associations.

Earlier a letter signed by the Assistant Director of Sports RB Wickramasinghe stated that according to a request made by the three men, the date of inquiry had been postponed from August 4 to 19 and failure on their part to present themselves for the inquiry will be an acceptance of guilt and liable to result in legal action, a reference to the Sports Law.

The Cycling Federation was suspended in July by former Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma through an Extraordinary Gazette dated July 27, 2019 due to the financial irregularities.

Karunaratne, Gunasekera and Ranasinghe were also probed over an allegation the trio were responsible for manipulating an event at last December’s South Asian Games in Nepal.

The Probe report was submitted by a special police investigation unit to the Attorney General through the Sports Ministry.

Ranasinghe was also the Treasurer of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and resigned from his post amid turmoil citing personal reasons.