CHENNAI: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) made yet more subtractions to its original list of cleared athletes for the upcoming Asian Games. On Tuesday, it was the turn of pencak silat to bear the brunt. In the first list, 22 pencak silat athletes were going. Now, IOA has conveyed to the Indian Pencak Silat Federation (IPSF) that only two have been cleared.
IOA’s decision has obviously not gone down well with IPSF. “They told us that we submitted fake certificates and that’s wrong,” the body’s secretary general Mufti Hamid told Express. “All 22 of them have original certificates so how come two of them is true and the rest are fake? We have asked them to prove to us with evidence.”
Hamid also accused IOA of horse-trading. “They have cleared the men’s handball team and the net result is our athletes have been dropped to accommodate that team. Why can’t they just tell us that rather than accusing our athletes of cheating?”
IOA did not want to clear the men’s handball team but were forced to do so after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court got involved.
This is a big blow to the IOA whose chief Narinder Batra had actually expressed his dismay at the way in which the Asian Handball Federation (AHF) had included the men’s team in the draw. “I’m not happy with the way these backdoor entries are being done by the Asian Games Organising Committee,” he had said. Multiple attempts to contact the IOA were in vain.
Two to go on hunger strike?
Prachi Chaudhary and Chhavi Sherawat, two women’s 400m runners, will go on a hunger strike from Wednesday if their representation is not heard by Athletics Federation of India (AFI). “We will meet the federation tomorrow (Wednesday) and then try to meet the minister (Sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore). If we won’t get a positive response from them, we are planning to start the hunger strike,” Chhavi told from Meerut.
Here’s a little background into what has led Prachi and Chhavi consider this bizarre step. They had finished third and fourth at the Interstate Championship in Guwahati last month but AFI did not consider them for the relay team because both Prachi and Chhavi were non-campers. AFI’s own circular had stated that only campers would be considered.
But they have reportedly selected Vijayakumari, another non-camper who did not even make the final of the 400m. This has led to much consternation. The athlete, who had apparently been given an AFI exemption, has been asked to report back to camp as soon as possible but Chhavi is not prepared to let it go. They are even prepared to go to court.