The union sports ministry virtually clamped down on junkets abroad by officials of the Indian Olympic Association and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) by asking them to furnish by Aug 20 the details of their trip to Glasgow.
The move comes in the wake of the unsavoury incidents involving two Indian officials at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Saturday. The IOA and the sports federations have been asked to furnish details of the delegates and the expenditure incurred on their trip during the Commonwealth Games.
Ajit Sharan, secretary sports, told IANS that he was aware of the developments in Glasgow and has asked the IOA to submit the details of the delegates and the expenses incurred on their trip.
“We have asked the IOA to furnish the details of the delegates and the expenses incurred by the them in Glasgow. Only after we get the list and other details can we think of any action,” he said.
Later in the evening the ministry said that IOA and the NSFs have to furnish the details of the entourage that was sent to Glasgow.
“Further, as per the provisions under Section 4(2) of the RTI Act, 2005, it has been made incumbent upon all the public authorities to suo-moto disclose information on the various activities carried out by them. This is the requirement of good governance and transparency in sports bodies,” the ministry said in a press release.
“Complete details of officials who were sent to CWG by IOA/NSFs along with the amount paid such as air fare, boarding and lodging, local transportation, daily allowance etc,” the statement added.
The government guidelines have stumped the sports administrators as they will be uncomfortable in explaining how some of them got onto the gravy train to Glasgow.
The IOA delegation comprised 14 officials and, according to one of them, they were provided accommodation at Games hotels and paid Rs. 1.75 lakh for passage, local transport and food.
The delegates were B.P Baishya, Brij Bhusan Singh, Nagendra Nath, Mukesh Kumar, Tarlochan Singh, Dushyant Chautala, Bhuvneshwar Kalita, Rakesh Gupta, Jaspal Kandhari, Adille Sumariwale, Onkar Singh, P.C. Chaturvedi, R.K. Singh and Kiran Elizabeth Jeremiah.
The IOA had restricted the number of delegates to Glasgow from the national sports federations to one each, leaving many senior officials unhappy.
But the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had apparently got both its president Prabhat C. Chaturvedi, a retired IAS officer, and senior vice-president Chautala, son of former president Ajay Kumar Chautala and also a Member of Parliament.
There are conflicting reports about Jeremiah’s locus standi as a sports official. Her name reportedly came from Hockey India (HI). She is the principal of All Saint’s College, Nainital. Curiously, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta also happens to be from Uttarakhand and president of the state hockey association.
HI secretary general Narinder Batra said HI proposed Jeremiah’s name as she was closely connected with hockey in Uttarakhand as a promoter of the game.
“We have named her as she is promoting the game in the state,” Batra told IANS.
Batra, however, lost his cool when asked if Mehta recommended her name and went on a tirade against media, vehemently supporting Mehta.
“I guess a witchhunt is on against Mehta. He is a clean guy, yet the media dubbed him a drunkard. He is being vilified, heaped with all baseless allegations on him,” he said.
The ministry went a step further by asking the IOA and the NSFs that they should also put on their website all information about international events their athletes are taking part in, both at home and overseas, lists of core probables and the basis of their selection, details of coaching camps organised, the venues, dates and list of athletes selected for the camps and the selection criteria well in advance.
The ministry also wants the details about the athletes and the support staff sent to the event along with the amount paid to them towards air fare, board and lodging, local transportation, daily allowance etc.
All this information must be put on their websites within 15 days of the conclusion of the event.
The ministry has also required the NSFs to put on their websites the performance criteria, which formed the basis of selection, actual performance in terms of timing, distance, etc. and the position obtained by each athlete/team.