A move to free sports from politicians' grip

Sporting legends critical of Suresh Kalmadi and Malhotra

Clean Sports India, an initiative started on June 23 in New Delhi, entered the Bangalore chapter on Wednesday and revealing its intentions of improving the pitiable state of sports in the country.

Taking on the likes of Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, Archery Association of India president Vijay Kumar Malhotra and several other politicians-cum-sports body heads, Clean Sports India’s convenor BVP Rao said: “Our objective is to to create an environment wherein Olympic Sports Federations, Associations and Clubs in India are managed essentially by former sportspersons.”

The former international equestrian questioned how some of the politicians, who have never played any sport in their lives, are qualified to run the sport affairs. “How will the likes of Kalmadi and Malhotra know what it takes to help the country evolve in sports? We need to put an end to their reign and take control of things if India has to improve (as a sporting nation).” Arjuna awardee and vice-president of CSI Ashwini Nachappa said it was heart-breaking to see so many athletes lose their hopes and give up their dreams because of the prevailing system. “They (politicians) don’t know how to run sports bodies. That explains why we had only one man among a billion win a gold medal in the Olympics,” rued the former sprinter.

“I am part of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, but after I raised some issues they have not called me for any of the meetings, nor have they communicated with me. They need to use our expertise to make everything work in a professional way.”
As a part of their awareness programme, CSL will conduct a 4km run on July 25 from the Sree Kanteerava stadium.

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