KOCHI:Even as the Kerala Government ordered a probe into the suicide of a Sports Authority of India trainee at its Alappuzha centre, state Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson on Thursday revealed that he had taken strong measures to tackle harassment in SAI centres while serving as its Director General. During his nearly eighteen-month tenure as the SAI DG, prior to his appointment as the top bureaucrat in his home state, Thomson had undertaken inspections and surprise visits to various centres across the country. Though nothing similar had earlier been reported from Kerala, he said that he had transferred SAI coaches in other states to places as remote as Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sikkim after receiving several complaints.
“Eradicating harassment in training centres was something that I was very particular about,”Thomson told Express. “Complaints were received from many centres, especially the ones providing training in contact sports like wrestling, boxing and kabaddi,” he said. He had found several cases of inefficient functioning at the SAI centres during his visits, many of which caught the officials and coaches posted there off-guard. Speaking to ‘Express’ after three months of inspections last year he had said: “SAI is in a mess. It needs a thorough clean up. I have travelled extensively across the country. To my horror, I have found that there is very little constructive activity happening in SAI.”