IOA rejects Sports Ministry's Draft Policy

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New Delhi, Jan 28 (UNI) Terming the Draft National Sports Policy as ''draculean'', Indian Olympic Association (IOA) today rejected the policy in it's totality.

Talking to mediapersons here after the meeting with other sports federations, IOA President Suresh Kalmadi said, ''The Ministry (Sports) should discuss the draft policy with us (IOA and NSFs) and then only it should be finalised and go the next step, till then we don't accept it because it is quite 'draculean' which includes a regulatory body of sports.

''We are an autonomous body so are the other federations and we report to our councils in Asia and the International Olympic Committee. So the Sports Ministry's version of the Draft Policy has been rejected unanimously,'' Kalmadi added.

However, he stated that the IOA and other sports federations have kept the door open for a dialogue on the Draft policy.

He said neither the Minister for Sports, Mani Shankar Aiyar was present in the meeting to hold discussions nor was there any official from the Ministry.

''The IOA does not want a confrontation with the Sports Ministry, we want discussions. All of us were here today but only the Sports Minister was not present.

He expressed his anguish towards the Sports Ministry saying MInistry has not provided proper funds for the training of Commonwealth Youth games and Beijing Olympics.

He added the Sports Authority of India has not been helpful towards any of the sports federations and have not received any funds from the Ministry.

''The Shooting Federation of India has not received ammunition and permission to import guns for the last two years.

''We should not be blamed for the athletes' under-performance in Beijing Olympics, Commonwealth Youth Games and Commonwealth Games as the Ministry is not releasing funds for training,'' he said.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President Rajiv Shukla also endorsed Kalmadi's viewpoint saying,''The various Sports federations and IOA have unanimously rejected the National Draft Sports Policy as a regulatory body would be policing on these federations.'' He added that the Sports Ministry should increase the funds for various federations. However, a regulatory body can be set up which would monitor the utilisation of these funds.

UNI RAR AB VC2053

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