Sep 13, 2019

Banned Judo officials try to sneak back into association

A Judo Association official who was banned from holding any post for ten years, is said to be planning to appeal his ban after three years.

Those in the Judo field believe that this is a questionable move and in the event this official manages to have his ban lifted, the others facing a ban are also said to be planning on appealing their sentences. Further they point out that the appeals board had issued several recommendations regarding this matter, but suspiciously, these recommendations are contradictory to each other.

The Appeals Committee had noted that after three years of the ban, appealing the sentence is illegal as the charges of financial misappropriation and fraud had been proven. Therefore, his ban cannot be completely lifted. Again the Committee had recommended that although the ban cannot be completely lifted, it can be relaxed.

Hence, it is clear that this appeals committee has failed in their responsibility to deliver a definite verdict on this matter, raising suspicion that this committee is supporting this corrupt official. Hence, as the recommendations of the Appeals Committee is evidently partial towards this corrupt official, the Sports Director General has written to the Sports Ministry Secretary regarding this matter recently.

In the letter to the Sports Ministry Secretary, the charges against this official is stated  in detail. This official former Secretary Sarath Kasthuriarachchi had misappropriated Rs. 2 million granted by the Sports Ministry to the Judo Association in June 2012. He had later accepted the charges and pledged in writing that he would pay back the money.

It was over this incident that Kasthuriarachchi and another 11 officials were banned for 10 years from holding any post or responsibility in the Judo Association by the then Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. This was after the issue was investigated by a three member committee appointed under the leadership of former Parliament Secretary and retired high court judge Dammika Kithulgoda and the ban was imposed based on this committee’s recommendations.