New Zealand dismisses Aiyar's bribe allegations

New Zealand dismisses Aiyar's bribe allegations

Aiyar, currently a Rajya Sabha member, had claimed that New Zealand, Australia and Canada were given USD 100,000 each by Delhi Games organisers to win the hosting rights way back in 2003. "I call this bribe, even though the law might or might not," he had said yesterday while making a scathing attack on Games organisers for spending huge amount of money.

NZOC rejected Aiyar's allegations as misinformed and said it was normal practice to receive money from host cities and every Commonwealth country can get it through application. "The funds referred to are preparation grants that have been officially sanctioned by the Commonwealth Games Federation as part of Commonwealth Games bids for both the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games," Communications Managers Ashley Abbott said in an NZOC statement.

"The preparation grants are provided to all Commonwealth Games nations on application. Each of the potential host cities for the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games included a preparation grant as part of their bid proposals," it added.

NZOC said the New Delhi grant was used to contribute to the expense of preparing and sending a team to the Games. "The Delhi grant has been used by NZOC to contribute to the expense of preparing and sending a team to the Commonwealth Games. The Glasgow grant will be used in a similar manner," the statement said.

Prime Minister John Key said he understood Aiyar's claim was "factually incorrect" as such a grant was standard practice. "My advice is that every country in the Commonwealth received a preparation grant, New Zealand received one of those along with all other countries, and there's nothing in that," he was quoted as saying by New Zealand media.

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