We are not to blame in Harbir issue, says IOA

Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it would write to 2014 Commonwealth Games organisers and the British High Commission here to furnish the reasons for refusal of accreditation to hockey player Harbir Singh Sandhu but insisted it cannot be blamed for the incident.

IOA secretary general Rajiv Mehta said that Harbir was the only one who was denied accreditation by the orgainsers out of the provisional list of 700 Indian athletes for the 2014 Glasgow Games.

“We sent a provisional list of more than 700 athletes. Except for Harbir, there was no issue for any other athlete. The communication from 2014 CWG organisers was that the player was denied accreditation after a background check by UK Home Office. We had written twice earlier to furnish the reason but each time we have been told that only the UK Home office can tell the reason,” he said.

“In this situation, there is little IOA could have done. But we want our athlete to take part in the Games and we are taking the issue seriously. So, we are writing to 2014 CWG organisers again as well as to British High Commission here to give us the reason through the Home Office,” he added.

Mehta also said that the player himself can also approach the British High Commission here to furnish the reason of refusal of accreditation to him. “He (Harbir) can ask for the reasons. There is a procedure. He should first deposit a check of 10 pounds to the British High Commission and submit an application to furnish the reasons,” said Mehta.

The matter came to light after Commonwealth Games Associations Relations Manager, Robert Vergouw wrote a letter to IOA President N Ramachandran and Mehta on March 10, informing them about the refusal of accreditation to Harbir.

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