CHENNAI : The Indian Olympic Association’s daily parleys with the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) was assumed to have finished after a four-member all men’s squad was selected for the upcoming Asian Games last week. That’s not the case anymore. Shruti Vora, a dressage competitor who did not find a place in the squad, has, in a 185- page letter (complete with annexures of all her scores of recent events) to IOA president Narinder Batra, raised several issues about the ‘selection of riders by EFI’. A copy of the letter is with Express.
Batra, who has read the letter, has requested the presence of both EFI president (Lt Gen Ashok Ambre) as well as secretary general (Col RK Swain) in a meeting on Saturday to discuss the ‘discrepancies being observed in the selection of their various teams for Asian Games’. IOA has also attached a rider. In case, EFI officials do not turn up, “they (officials) should be informed that IOA will assume that they have nothing to say and the views of the athlete are correct and then IOA will be free to take its own decision in all fairness for eventing, show jumping and dressage, since complaints of fairness in selection process are coming in all three equestrian events.”
Interestingly, Swain, when contacted by this newspaper, claimed he did not know about these developments. “I have not heard about this.” Vora, who spoke to the paper late on Wednesday, claimed she has got a raw deal. “Whatever I have had to say, I have said in the letter. I am reiterating that EFI selected the squad in a completely arbitrary and biased manner.
I was definitely a medal prospect and my performances have been brilliant. I’ve given a detailed representation. “I have given superb nine qualifying scores. If you can see the scores, these are very comparable to the scores made by the other Asian riders in their meets in Europe... if you can see and compare you know where I stand.” Chinese whispers indicate that a few other miffed riders have also sent representations but she isn’t aware of any such thing. “I don’t know, I am only concerned for myself at the moment.”
Another athletics trial
Even though the Athletics Federation of India has named a 51-member team, it isn’t final. The final list will only be known after a two-day confirmatory trial on August 15 and 16. These trials will be held only for noncampers (the likes of Neeraj Chopra and Seema Poonia will not need to attend it).
Sports code deliberations
The IOA and the sports ministry will meet this month to discuss the sports code. This was confirmed by the sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar. Recently, IOA president Batra had sought a meeting with the sports secretary to discuss the code. Bhatnagar said it is still in the consultation process and it would take suggestions from all stakeholders before finalising the draft. “It’s still in the consultation stage and we will consider people’s views. The matter is in court. We will meet the IOA in the middle of this month.” firstname.lastname@example.org