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In a dramatic turn of events, athletes such as Anju Bobby George, P.T. Usha were asked to step down from their positions as National Observers. Other names in the list are those of Kamran Malleshwari, Kamlesh Mehta, and Abhinav Bindra. The grounds on which such a decision was taken was a "conflict of interest". In the guidelines that had been revised many times by the Ministry was still very clear about the fact that a National Observer who is associated with any sort of academy outside the Sports Authority of India and Government jurisdiction 'would not be dis-entitled/ineligible' for the post in question. This made complete sense since the role of a National Observer was mostly a passive one. Yet, the circular that was sent to the five athletes tells a very different story. According to this statement, the fact that these athletes are associated with other academies posed a "conflict of interest" for the MYAS and hence, the athletes were asked to leave. Also Read: PT Usha, Anju Bobby George among those asked to step down as National Observers The Sports Minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, felt the need to make it clear to all that the process had been undertaken in a civil and fair manner, and the accusation of "harsh" words was not quite true. He said, "My OSD (Officer on Special Duty) personally called all the top athletes who were affected by this and we said, 'You understand fair play. Why don't you on your own resign because it is conflict of interest?' A call went to each and every athlete and I stand by my word. Some of them resigned; I did not send any letter.' According to Anju Bobby George, the letter that was sent to her, seeking her resignation, was in poor taste. Regarding the matter, Rathore said that even in the face of hostility, respect was of importance and that he would look into the matter to see if there is any truth to the accusation. There is a lack of transparency on the government's part which is difficult to ignore and the loopholes are more than a few in number. From names like Ronak Pandit being missing from the list (if being associated with another academy is indeed the reason) to including the name of Abhinav Bindra who had resigned earlier, things don't quite add up. 2018 is the beginning of a two-year long journey for athletes, given the CWG, Asian Games and finally, Tokyo 2020 are all in line. Hopefully, unnecessary commotion like this will not mar the future of Indian sports.