'Indiscipline will not be tolerated'

Sending out a strong message to all the national athletes, Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas, who is also the Director General of the Sports Authority of India, stated that there would be zero tolerance towards indiscipline.

Here at the SAI, Southern Centre to inaugurate an aquatic therapy unit, Srinivas said sportspersons who are found competing hiding their injuries will face strict action. After a meeting with the athletes part of the national camp here, Srinivas spoke on the re-constituted Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, on the role of the Olympic task force and more.

On the TOP scheme: We are focusing on forming a good structure to camps and also looking at discipline in the camps. I feel many times athletes who are injured or even suffering from chronic injuries go on to participate in competitions. This will not happen from now. An athlete has to follow whatever has been told by the doctor. Whoever is not adhering to this will not be allowed to continue. Discipline should also be adhered to. When we address 99 per cent of the athletes’ issues, it is the responsibility of the athlete to address the remaining one percent. There will be zero tolerance for unauthorised absence from the camp and will lead to expulsion from the camp.

On the Olympic task force: The task force is a group of eminent people. They have to talk to all the stakeholders and come up with sharp reactions and analysis. More than anything, a task force of reputed athletes in each sport shows our seriousness and it will help SAI and others towards certain reforms. To think that the task force will lead to more medals is not real. It’s the facilitator. Federations and others should also chip in. The state governments have to play a big role. Not many have a vision for Olympics as of now. We have a dozen states who are self-sufficient and on par with small countries. Dependence on SAI and National Sports Federations won’t work. They are important players but not the deciders of everything.

On the National Observers: Observers play a silent role. They won’t intervene in ministry’s functioning. The names of the observers speak for themselves. They are all large performers in their respective fields. We expect them to play the role of spokesperson for the athlete. Athletes should be our priority. The observers have been athletes before and they can assist and help the current lot by finding out what they want. We are not calling them government observers (like before) but they are national observers.

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