CWG 2018: Accreditation gaffe leaves Indian gymnasts anxious

Both Meghana Reddy and coach Varavara Filliou will be reaching Gold Coast on Thursday but 'sheer callousness on the part of IOA' has left the gymnastics team in a spot of bother.

Meghana Reddy could be without her coach Varavara Filliou at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

"Meghana's name is there (for CWG) but mine is not on the list. What should I do? No one from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA is responding to our e-mails."

This message from Varavara Filliou, coach of Indian gymnast Meghana Reddy (both now in Greece), on Wednesday might well reflect the plight of the Indian gymnastics squad for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

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It was sent to B.V. Papa Rao, advisor to Telangana Government, which incidentally offered to bear the complete expenses for the coaches of Aruna Reddy and Meghana travelling with them to Gold Coast. However, there has been no response yet from either the IOA or the Union Sports Ministry.

For the record, both Meghana and Varavara will be reaching Gold Coast on Thursday and the latter will be hoping that accreditation to the Games will still be available as rhythmic gymnastics competitions start only on April 10.

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Meanwhile, former Asian Games silver medallist and president of Clean Sports India (CSI) Ashwini Nachappa, along with Papa Rao, also a convenor of CSI appealed to the IOA to ensure accreditation for at least the coaches of the Indian gymnasts –  B. Aruna Reddy and Meghana Reddy. 

"This accreditation is crucial as having a coach is paramount to a player's performance in the competition. There is a huge psychological disadvantage for a player when the coach is not with them at such an important international event," they said in a statement here on Wednesday. 

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"It is disappointing that Aruna, who has become the first-ever Indian gymnast to win a medal in a World Cup (bronze) in Melbourne recently, is at the Games without a coach. So is the case of Meghana who has been training in Greece under Varvara Filliou for the last eight months," they said. 

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"Both Aruna and Meghana are medal prospects and it is sheer callousness on the part of IOA to ignore the accreditation for the coaches of these athletes. And, what is beyond any comprehension is why IOA would provide accreditation to the parents of P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal and not to the coaches of these two gymnasts, who deserve it legitimately," asked the CSI officials. 

"We at Clean Sports India appeal to the IOA to reconsider and immediately provide the coaches of the two gymnasts with accreditation." 

"We also appeal to Sindhu and Saina to reconsider their need to have their parents given accreditation and for them to request IOA to, instead, give it to the coaches of the gymnasts. This gesture will go a long way in establishing the credentials of the two greats of Indian badminton," they said.