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Athletes hit out at politicians

New Delhi, Dec 4, 2012, DHNS: 0:47 IST
Several Indian sportspersons expressed their disappointment over the suspension of Indian Olympic Association by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

The suspension of IOA means that Indian athletes will be not be able to compete in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games under the national flag, and in worst case scenario, they could also be banned from competing at the event.

Former hockey captain Ajit Pal Singh was furious about the suspension and said athletes will suffer the most.

“An athlete works hard for his performance, he is not aware of the politics taking place. The sport is run by people who are interested in self-promotion and their own perks. The IOC had been writing letters to fix the mess. They are an independent body, they are not going to be influenced by anybody. May be our people did not take the warning seriously,“Ajit Pal Singh told Deccan Herald.

“Think about the budding athletes who grow up dreaming representing their country in the Olympics. I feel whoever is responsible should now do its best to revoke the ban.“
India’s two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar called it an unfortunate development for the Indian sports.

“It is only now that India has started getting medals in the Olympics and is being acknowledged by the world. Today the war is not on the field, but whether we can see our flag being hoisted in big events and get it noticed by other countries. The flag is our identity,” Sushil said. “I hope that whatever steps that are required will be taken and the issue will be solved at the earliest.”

Fellow wrestler and London Olympic bronze medallist, Yogeshwar Dutt agreed. “It is extremely disappointing news. It is an honour for every sportsperson to represent the country in a multi-disciplinary event and that should not be taken away. I appeal to the government and the IOA to solve this issue as soon as possible.”

India’s women discuss throw and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia called it an embarrassing development for India.

“It’s very disappointing and embarrassing for India. Nothing can get worse than this. I hope things get sorted out as early as possible because it does affect the morale of the athletes."

India’s Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra bore a sarcastic tone on his twitter page. "Bye bye IOA. Hope to see you soon, hope to see you clean," he wrote.
Tennis veteran and multiple Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi had this to say: “So I got banned, now the IOA gets banned, they say things like these normally happens in three’s... Wonder what’s next!!” he tweeted.

Former badminton player Vimal Kumar requested politicians to stay away from sports.
“My humble request to all our politicians after this is ‘please keep away from sports administration’. We all know how the elections of federations are manipulated. The sports code is important to clean up the system,” he said.

“Ego problem between administrators has cost us,” felt former Indian hockey captain Vasudevan Baskaran. “When IOA depends on the government for all its funding, why couldn’t they adopt the Sports Policy into their charter without making such a hue and cry that has resulted in this. Moreover, when IOC has said that Lalit Bhanot cannot contest the elections, why elect him. Until we solve our ego issues, the problem will just worse,” he said.

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