Chandigarh, Dec 2 (IANS) Abhay Singh Chautala, who was chef-de-mission of the Indian contingent to the recently concluded Asian Games at Guangzhou, China, Thursday lashed out at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for not doing enough for the sportspersons.
"SAI was established to promote sports and to provide better infrastructure to sportspersons, but it has lost its true purpose. It has become a white elephant that lacks any comprehensive policy," said Chautala, who is son of former Haryana chief minister Om Parkash Chautala.
"After the Commonwealth Games, we were expecting a very good show from our players and hoping our country to figure at fourth or fifth spot in the Asian Games. But our players got very little time for preparation as political parties took advantage in the garb of honouring them. Due to this most of the training camps were delayed."
Chautala even took the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to task for not sending cricket team for the Asian Games.
"Strict action should be taken against the BCCI as they did not send cricket team for the Asian Games. It is also sad that tennis players like Leander Paes also withdrew from the games. If they had played, then our medals tally could have certainly gone up, improving our ranking," he said.
Talking about the issue of the Indian gymnastics team's Russian coach who left the team after he was not allowed to participate in the Asian Games opening ceremony, Chautala said, "I have already made my stand clear on this issue. He was not ready to wear the dress that was selected for the opening ceremony. It was a case of indiscipline, and racism has nothing to do with this episode."
Chautala also demanded more prize money for Haryana medallists.
"We demand the state government to give Rs.50 lakh to the winner of gold medal whereas Rs.35 lakh and Rs.25 lakh to the winners of silver and bronze medals. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda boasts of setting up 170 stadiums in the state but we do not have a single well-equipped stadium that can match international standards," he said.
"Hooda is playing politics and misleading people. If any government has to honour players, they should organise function at the Governor House but Congress government is orgainsing political rallies for this."
"The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had introduced sports policy in 2001 but the Congress government is least bothered about this. We will also honour the medal winners of Haryana and decide the formalities on Dec 4," he said