CWG organisers claim ₹73,488 damages at athletes village

The damages claimed are all related to breakages at the Athletes Village at Gold Coast.

IOA President Narinder Batra. (File Photo)   -  PTI

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been foisted with a bill of ₹73,988 by the Australian Commonwealth Games organisers for damages by Indian athletes in Gold Coast earlier this year.

The damages claimed by the Commonwealth Games organising committee are all related to breakages at the Athletes Village with basketball contributing ₹20,400 (AUD 400) for broken internal doors and damaged room keys. This is followed by athletics (₹11,832) and hockey (₹7854). In all, sportspersons belonging to eight disciplines have been responsible for damages to their apartments — shooting, squash, table tennis, weightlifting and para-athletics being others.

An amount of ₹14,726 has been billed as ‘refrigerator hiring charges’.

'Bad name'

“I strongly recommend that the total amount should be recovered from the respective NSFs immediately and the NSFs should be asked to speak with the concerned athletes and support staff. Such activities bring a bad name to our country and these are basic things each participating NSF needs to tell its athletes and officials at Asian Games and thereafter,” IOA president Narinder Batra wrote.

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The CWG organising committee communique also mentions the room numbers in the Games Village to which these issues relate to and can be easily identified by the respective federations. Other than the damage to the doors, the maximum cases are of damaged door keys (nine) followed by bedside lamps. The Commonwealth Games were held from April 4-14, 2018.

One of the NSF officials claimed these were inadvertent breakages and no athlete would deliberately damage a property. “Why would anyone damage their door keys or break doors of a place they are living in? It is surprising that the organisers are claiming damages for such things. It is not that we cannot pay, the amounts are not really too high, but it feels insulting,” he said.

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