Rathore misses CWG cut, lashes out at NRAI selection policy

Rathore misses CWG cut, lashes out at NRAI selection policy

Rathore misses CWG cut, lashes out at NRAI selection policy

Rathore was disqualified after he skipped the trials saying that he had no option but to pull out after the way the NRAI hounded him and some other shooters. "I think, as sportsmen, we all go through the adversities created by our sports officials some time or the other. But the whole atmosphere of vindictiveness, created by the sports administrators did not leave me or some of the other shooters with a positive frame of mind to overcome the odds stacked up," Rathore told IANS.

Rathore was highly critical of NRAI's selection policy which came in for similar criticism from Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and world No.5 double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi.  

Rathore said: "Our previous selection policy was that selection trials are held for competitions in the forthcoming two months calender (and if someone has won a medal in the immediate past or had an exceptional performance then he is excused from trials, if he so desires with the permission of the federation). Hence after taking 2009 off, I planned to start training by January 2010 and be in form by June for World Championships.

"However in March, we got stumped by the NRAI when it announced a new selection policy. The new policy was to follow a system of adding up all scores shot by shooters and averaging them out. The highest aggregate gets selected."

Rathore went on to add that the policy was implemented in March but scores were retrospectively taken from previous months like February, giving rise to prejudice and bias.

"Scores shot by Indian shooters abroad in different (mostly better) conditions were to be compared to scores shot in humid, hot and windy conditions prevailing in the summer months in India. Taken by surprise, since I was not in form in early 2010, I was left with a huge score deficit to fulfill in the latter selection trials in indian conditions," he said.

Rathore said the rifle and pistol shooters too were made to follow the same policy, though it was amended for them, but not for shot-gunners.  "So we had a situation, one federation but different selection policies. Again, revealing bias. The policy laid down some grace marks for Olympic and World Championship medallist but decided that 2004 Olympics being in distant past did not warrant grace marks. As if the experience is limited by four-year life cycle of each Olympics," he said.

"Its now interesting to hear the officials say that the matter was never brought up to their notice, was it not, really! I have tried to maintain as positive an attitude as is possible. I do believe there is a higher good for me despite these troubles. I know the strength of the Indian shooting team and hence am looking confidently at all those selected to win at the Commonwealth Games," he said.

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