New Delhi: The Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, is proving to be a huge embarrassment for Indian sport.
On Tuesday, three Indian athletes, this time from the weightlifting squad, were barred from participating for being over the stipulated age fixed for the Youth Games.
The three weightlifters are – Chandrika Tarafdar, Jyoti Mal and Akshay Bhagwan. The Indian weightlifting federation, however, is likely to take up the matter with international body president Tamas Ajan on Wednesday.
With this, the total number of Indian athletes disqualified from the Games went up to 24. Four badminton players and 17 track-and-field athletes were earlier barred for similar offence.
While the rules clearly state that only athletes born on and after January 1, 1997, were eligible to participate, all barred Indian athletes were found to be over-age.
“A non-functional IOA also had a major role to play in the entire fiasco,” said an official.
“Those who are running the show from the Olympic Bhawan in the capital are a suspended lot. And those who are recognised by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) have no clue about what is actually happening,” he added.
Acting president of the IOA, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, had already said he was never consulted on any matter and his role was limited to forwarding the letters to concerned federations. On the other hand, secretary general Randhir Singh is more active in the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) than in the IOA.
“We were definitely at fault, but how did OCA, whose secretary is from India, accept the entries in the first place and issue identity cards for the Games? Did they only realise the mistake after we reached the venue,” an official asked.