Overage issue: Secretaries of nine State associations face action

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has decided to withhold results of Junior Nationals in Guntur for 10 days to identify overage athletes.

File photo: AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said: “Yes, they (secretaries of the nine state associations) will be suspended...the letter has already gone out.”   -  Yifan Ding

The secretaries of nine State athletics associations face suspension for fielding overage athletes at the recent National junior championships in Guntur.

Nearly 100 athletes were found to be overage in the five-day meet at Guntur, a number that could be a record in itself.

At its AGM in Agra in July, the Athletics Federation of India had decided to suspend secretaries of State associations which had more than two overage athletes in National meets in a year.

“Yes, they will be suspended...the letter has already gone out,” AFI president Adille Sumariwalla told Sportstar on Thursday.

“I don’t have the numbers here...whoever, action will be taken.”

READ| 93 overaged athletes stopped from competing at junior Nationals

Uttar Pradesh (22 athletes), Rajasthan (21) and Haryana (18) top the AFI’s list of athletes found overage at the Guntur junior Nationals, held early this month, while Gujarat (8), Delhi (6), Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand (4 each) and Manipur (3) are the other States in big trouble.

The AFI’s letter on the overage issue to State associations, dated November 9, said “it is reported that about 100 athletes from different States have agreed being overage, and therefore, they had withdrawn themselves from participating in this meet. It clearly indicates that State associations have not made due diligence on this issue at the time of selection of team and sending entries.”

The AFI has also decided to withhold the results of the Junior Nationals for about 10 days to identify overage athletes who competed there and won medals. The results will be revised accordingly.

The federation also noted that many of the teams did not have coaches or managers who could control their athletes and pointed out in its letter that “a lot of indiscipline was noticed in the Haryana team.”

The AFI is in the process of identifying these athletes and action will be taken against them.