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Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games 2018: Large number of IOA officials named for Gold Coast contingent

Commonwealth Games 2018: Large number of IOA officials named for Gold Coast contingent
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Published: 21 March 2018 4:43 AM GMT
Yet another glaring example of athlete safety and mentorship being compromised by officials as the Gold Coast bound contingent for the Commonwealth Games is set to included at least a 106 officials who will be traveling as a representation of the Indian Olympic Association. The large number of IOA officials has definitely raised some questions especially after earlier reports suggested that numerous federations were unable to send coaches along with their teams to Australia because it would exceed the player-coach ratio as set by the Commonwealth Games Federation. However, there seems to be no difficulty when it comes to accommodating 106 officials in addition to a player contingent of 222.
According to the complete list of Australia-bound Indians which has been accessed by The Times of India, the list provided names of 57 coaches, 19 doctors and physios, seven managers and 41 others/extra officials, including chef de mission Vikram Sisodia as part of the entire team. Also read: Commonwealth Games 2018: Indian boxing coaches left out of traveling contingent The controversy does not stop here, however. According to the same list accessed by TOI, several missing names of coaches who ideally should be with their athletes during this all-important tournament have been replaced by some baffling selections. The best example of this is the inclusion of Pradeep Sreedharan as coach of the swimming contingent. Despite being an active National Coach in the discipline till a couple of years back, Sreedharan has since given up his post and set up residence and coaching facilities in Dubai. However, he continues to enjoy some of IOA's goodwill left over from his days of association. That favouritism clearly shows in his baffling inclusion. The TOI report, however, goes on to add that the federation had apparently asked him to step up during a 20-day training camp last year in preparation for the Asian C'ships. That was incidentally, the last time anything remotely close to a national camp was organised as swimmers have been training on their own since.
Khelo India
champion Srihari Natraj is a promising youngster from Karnataka, Virdhawal Khade and Olympian Sajan Prakash are confirmed to be traveling to Gold Coast. However, several disciplines like cycling and gymnastics have been left in the lurch with zero coaches accompanying them. 'This has been done by IOA to accommodate its own officials. IOA has drastically cut down the number of team managers. Only managers are going. IOA wants more of its officials to travel to Gold Coast since they have found sponsors,' said a federation official to TOI. However, the list remains to be cleared by the Sports Ministry and the Minister himself but early signs are not good. Especially with major names in the para-athletics contingent missing out on proper training due to a preparatory camp not being organised. Last minute controversies continue to plague Indian contingents.
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