BANGALORE, July 3: Top officials in Sports Authority of India (SAI) are upset with the government’s decision to keep them away from the Olympics after the sports ministry recently rejected their proposal to send a contingent to London.
SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma had proposed a team of 15 officials for the Games but the ministry included only his name in the official contingent.
“May be it was wrong on the part of SAI to propose a jumbo contingent but that was no reason to deny a chance to all of them. There were genuine candidates who deserved to go. There were people involved in taking policy decisions as SAI is the nodal agency for sports. It was unfair to block all the names,” sources close to the development said.
Critics of the ministry’s decision also said picking the DG for the London trip may be of no use as he is all set to move out of SAI. “The DG SAI, an IAS officer, has already got his promotion. It is only a matter of time before he moves out of SAI and takes up his new post. So then, what is the purpose of the DG travelling to the Olympics?” they asked.
On Monday, the new government order was issued posting Verma as the secretary, parliamentary affairs. It now remains to be seen whether he will be able to make the London trip as part of the delegation.
The ministry’s firm stand has not gone down well with the officials in SAI centres across the country. “These are officials who have worked hard to support our preparations for the Olympics be it in camps held in Patiala, Bangalore or Thiruvananthapuram. Many of them have worked with the probables and know their training modules and their requirements. The presence of such people would have helped,” sources said.
Among those listed for the trip to London were LS Ranawat (executive director, academics), Radhika Sriman (ED, teams) and SS Roy (regional director, south). Apparently, this will be first instance that there will be not a single SAI official at a major event. TNN