Govt brings in strict selection criteria

The government on Tuesday came out with stricter selection criteria for athletes for multi-discipline international sports events.

As per the new rules, only the athletes and support staff approved by the government can now be part of the contingent and clearances on the basis of “no cost to government” will not be allowed.

“Only the sportspersons, coaches and support staff approved by the Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be part of the contingent for the events cleared at cost to the government. No additional sportspersons, coach and support staff will be included even at no cost to government in such sports competitions,” said the sports ministry, in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association, National Sports Federations and the Paralympic Committee of India.

Before the Asian Games, the government had struck down names of  several athletes and support staff in order to prune down the contingent which raised a furore. Several NSFs claimed that the process was done without consultation.

According to the guidelines released, the participation in multi-disciplinary sports events, which include the Olympics, “the performance of the sportspersons in the individual events during the last 12 months prior to commencement of the event should not be less than the performance achieved by the position holder of the previous edition of the respective tournament in measurable sports.”

“In non-measurable individual sports, the sportspersons must have achieved 6th rank in the last 12 months. In sports events, where rankings are not maintained or where sportspersons have not been able to improve their ranking on account of reasons like lack of exposure, appropriate criteria may be adopted by the NSFs in consultation with this Ministry. In the sports competitions where the number of participants is limited, stricter norms of selection will be prescribed.

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