Suspense over final Asian Games contingent announcement continues

The Games begin in Jakarta and Palembang in less than 10 days but the Indian contingent is yet to be declared officially.

Knocking on the doors: IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta at a ceremony associated with the Asian Games in July.   -  PTI

The Sports Ministry continued its deliberation with regards to size of the Indian contingent for the Asian Games as suspense prevailed over its announcement. The Games begin in Jakarta and Palembang in less than 10 days but the Indian contingent is yet to be declared officially.

After much chopping and changing, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday submitted a list of 575 athletes and 213 officials to the Sports Ministry, which is yet to make the final clearance. “It may take a day or two to give the final clearance of the contingent,” a source from the Sports Ministry said.

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The IOA has announced a send-off ceremony on August 10 and it is likely that the official list will be cleared by the Ministry by then.

Bone of contention

It is learnt that the Ministry is not happy with Raj Kumar Sacheti being named as one of the four deputy Chefs de Mission of the Indian contingent. In 2013, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) had recommended the registration of a disproportionate assets case against Sacheti in the wake of the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.

Sacheti had worked as Joint Director-General in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. He was one of the aides of former IOA president and head of 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Suresh Kalmadi, who was jailed and then released on bail.

The IOA, it is learnt, is unlikely to budge from its position and is mulling over sending Sacheti to Indonesia for the Games at its own cost if the Ministry refuses to clear him.