Wednesday , 19 September 2018
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Row over presence of ‘extra officials’ in CWG-bound Indian contingent

NEW DELHI: The presence of ‘extra officials’ in the Commonwealth Games-bound Indian contingent has become a major flashpoint between the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

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On Thursday, IOA president Narinder Batra was critical of the sports ministry for reportedly reducing the extra officials in the contingent, including badminton players Saina Nehwal’s father Harvir Singh and PV Sindhu’s mother Vijaya Pusarla. The ministry has apparently struck off the names of all 21 extra officials. However, the contingent list shared by Batra showed 15 names have been dropped. As per the IOA, 222-member athletes will be accompanied by 74 officials.

“These extra officials are the actual requirements of the federations at the Games. And, they are going on the federations’ cost. I don’t know why government is making so much noise,” Batra said here.

The names of 15 extra officials have already been omitted by the ministry. The contingent list will be placed before sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for the final clearance on Friday. It would be interesting to see whether Rathore persists with the ministry’s decision or decides to send the extra officials at “no cost to the government”.
It has been learnt that Batra had a telephonic conversation with Rathore later in the evening and requested him to clear the extra officials, including the names of Saina’s father and Sindhu’s mother, at no cost to the government. Rathore will finalise the contingent on Friday.
According to the list accessed by TOI, names of chief medical officer Arun K Mendiratta and physiotherapist Hema Valecha (part of the IOA’s own contingent staff) have been omitted by the ministry. The other extra officials whose names have been dropped include – Everard Graeme (physio, squash) Prem Verma (women’s manager, table tennis), Mahinder Singh (men’s manager, table tennis), Kishore Dey (physio, table tennis) Harpreet Kaur (masseur, table tennis), Rajeev Tomar (coach, wrestling), Asit Kumar Saha (coach, wrestling), Vishal Kumar Rai (physiotherapist, wrestling), Satya Sangwan (manager, para sports), Johnson (physiotherapist, badminton) and either of Aayush Yekhande or Gaurav Ahluvalia (physiotherapist, boxing).
Even shooting coach and 10m air pistol specialist Heena Sidhu’s husband, Ronak Pandit, is likely to be dropped from the shooting contingent once the final list is cleared following approval. The ministry’s primary objection is that since it funds the federations through the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) as part of their Annual Competition and Training Calendar (ACTC), the money spent by them on the extra officials’ visit is also part of the tax payers’ money. Source : timesofindia


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