AFI fumes at national campers taking leaves, demands affidavit from them

The Athletics Federation of India has pulled up chief national coach Radhakrishnan Nair for allowing a few of the national campers leave for home “without permission”.

Athletics track

Some of India’s top track and field athletes, who are currently training at NIS-Patiala and the Sports Authority of India Centre in Bangalore, had gone home recently due to reasons concerning their families. (Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Saturday pulled up chief national coach Radhakrishnan Nair for allowing a few of the national campers leave for home “without permission”.

Lalit Bhanot, chairman of the AFI Planning Commission, told Nair to get an affidavit from all the athletes that they will not leave their training base until the end of the national camp.

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India’s top track and field athletes, including the likes of Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das, are currently training at NIS-Patiala and the Sports Authority of India Centre in Bangalore. Some of the national campers had gone home recently due to reasons concerning their families.

“There was total anarchy in the camp. How can you grant leave to the athletes, who authorised them to go home?” Bhanot asked Nair.

“You are allowing them (athletes) to go home for family reasons, to get salary and for all other reasons. So, it is like everything is important except training,” he said during the Annual General Body Meeting of the AFI here.

Adille Sumariwalla, AFI president, agreed with Bhanot and told Nair to take control of the national camp.

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Bhanot added, “With these kind of things, how will we do systematic and meticulous training? It is not a professional approach and it’s not going bring us any medal (in the Tokyo Olympics).”

He further asked Nair to furnish the status of training of Chopra and fellow javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, shot putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and sprinter Hima. He specifically asked if Hima was recovering well from her lower-back injury which had laid her low last year.

Nair replied, “Toor needs three week rest due to a niggle, Neeraj has no issue and Shivpal is all right. Hima is asking for a personal physio.”