Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 21
The issue of resumption of training of India’s elite athletes has widened the rift within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Soon after Sports Authority of India (SAI) today released the standard operating procedures (SOP) for athletes to follow while training, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta warned against haste in starting training.
“Why are we rushing to restart training when the cases are on the rise? There are indications cases will only rise in the coming months. These athletes are our national treasure and safeguarding their health should be our topmost priority,” Mehta told The Tribune. “Who will be responsible if one amongst them gets this dreaded virus?” he asked.
Earlier in the day, IOA president Narinder Batra wrote to Mehta informing him that some of his responsibilities as secretary general would be withdrawn.
“I have decided to take over/divide much of your workload and will be doing the needful in days to come and since I am Delhi based and few other people who are regularly coming to Delhi will now have to share the divided responsibilities/burden,” Batra wrote to Mehta, adding: “By doing the above you will be able to spend more quality time with your family in Nainital and also attend to your business which is also in Uttarakhand.”
Mehta’s reply was equally tetchy: “…My family appreciated my commitment and is supportive of my endeavours and will like to see me doing more for sports by stationing myself in Delhi.”
He also took a dig at Batra for holding several key positions himself.
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