NEW DELHI: Lashing out at Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chef de mission Rakesh Gupta, Hockey India (HI) chief Narinder Batra on Thursday accused the IOA of appointing him to the prestigious post only due to his proximity to top officials.
Batra alleged that Gupta has withheld crucial information from the National Sports Federations (NSF) despite attending chef de mission meetings regularly and urged the IOA to remove him from the post.
He also criticised IOA president N. Ramachandran for appointing Gupta as the chef de mission of the Indian contingent for next year's Rio Olympics.
"IOA chef de mission Mr Rakesh Gupta has been going to chef de mission meetings, but we NSF's are not getting any updates from him and till Olympics we also do not hope to get any update or information from him, since you all in IOA decided to nominate an highly incompetent person as Chef De Mission for India in Rio," Batra wrote in a letter to the IOA.
"Hence I can only pray to god to kindly help the Indian contingent since Mr Gupta is there only to look after President IOA and V.D. Nanavati to show his greatfulness to them for making him Chef De Mission of Indian contingent to Rio. I would urge all of you in IOA to read the CV's of Chef De Mission of USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Russia etc to understand the competence and importance of Chef De Mission," he added.
"Hope IOA re-considers its view on Chef De Mission and decides to send an able and a competent person in interest of athletes and for prestige of our nation."
Batra, who is not on the best of terms with Ramachandran, had vehemently opposed the move when Gupta was named as the chef de mission in September.
"Please note my objection to the name of Mr Rakesh Gupta as Chef de Mission of India to Rio Olympics. I feel Mr Gupta is not at all competent and capable to be the Chef de Mission. His name may please be changed," Batra had written to IOA officials on September 19.