Complaints regarding fraud have been filed with Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association(IOA) against the Karate Association of India’s (KAI) suspended Vice President Bharat Sharma.
In a letter to the Ministry & IOA, a copy of which is with Republic TV, Yogesh Kalra, General Secretary, Haryana Sports Karate Association, alleged, “Master fraud of Karate in India Bharat Sharma has now got a new Company registered under the name of Karate India (KIO) this year in the month of March 2020 and also made two of his school friends as its directors, his school friends do not have any connection with karate. He is now telling all to leave the Karate Association of India and join KIO. He is telling everyone that he will get recognition from the World Karate Federation with the help of Mr. Espinos who is the President of the World Karate Federation.”
According to him, “Espinos has asked for $500,000/- in cash for granting recognition and he has agreed to pay this kickback to Espinos for getting smooth and quick recognition.”
In a strong allegation, Kalra claimed: “Sharma has been selling approximately 3,00,000 Karate Belts every year to Karatekas/Karate Students and the sale price varies from Rs.2500 to Rs.25,000 per belt depending on the color of the belt, with an average price per belt of Rs.10,000 for approximately 300,000 plus belts sold every year in various colors. He collects almost Rs.30.00 crores in cash by way of sale of belts every year, spends Rs.15.00 crores approx.on International Federation, his agents, the Executive Board of Karate, and few people who matter in IOA, etc.”
However, IOA has suspended Vice President from the immediate effect, and the investigation is in the process to track other names apart from Bharat Sharma who was involved in this act. There is no point denying that Karate needs renovation in India and local leagues like IPL, ISL, PBL should be conducted to revive this sport in India.