AFI makes athletes participation in national meets mandatory

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Pune, Feb 15 (UNI) The Athletic Federation of India (AFI) has decided to make participation in national championships mandatory for its athletes in order to improve their performance.

The AFI, at its annual general body meeting (AGM) held in Delhi recently, took the decision on making partcipation in national championships mandatory for the athletes nominated or selected by the AFI or its affiliated units.

Prahlad Sawant, who has been elected for the fourth consecutive term as the Joint Secretary of the apex body controlling athletics in the country, while talking to reporters here today, said that if any athlete cannot take part in the national championships, organised by the AFI, due to any genuine reason, he or she will have to get a prior permission from the federation. The decision of the AFI in this regard will be final, he added.

''If any athlete fails to participate without prior permission he or she could be debarred from the future competitions,'' Mr Sawant said.

In yet another decision, the AFI has made attending the coaching camps mandatory for the athletes, and failure to do so may lead to their suspension, Mr Sawant informed.

''The AFI will take strict action against athletes, who would get involved in doping. We would like to make athletics clean of the drug menace,'' he said.

The AFI has also decided that the person contesting for the post of President or Secretary, must be-a member of the Executive Committee of the AFI for the complete term of the committee, Mr Sawant said.

If the House unanimously agrees on nominating any outsider for these posts, the condition can be waived, he added.

Nominations should be proposed by at least three member units of the federation and also seconded by three other units, who are eligible to vote.

The AFI also finalised the athletic calendar for the year 2008-009. As per the schedule, Pune will be hosting the National Youth Athletic Championship from September 20-22. Prior to this, the West Zone Junior Athletic Championship will be held in Maharashtra from August 21-23 while Mumbai will host the National Sprint and Relay Championships from October 9-10, Mr Sawant added.

The Indian Grand Prix I will be held at the NIS Patiala on February 21 which will herald the athletic season in the country, he said.

The Indian Athletics Calendar 2008-09 is as follows: 1. Indian Grand Prix I February 21 NIS, Patiala 2. Federation Cup National February 26-29 Bhopal (MP) Senior Athletics Championship 3. World Athletics Days May 1-10 Bangalore 4. Federation Cup National May 22-24 Karim Nagar (AP) Junior Athletics Championship 5. Indian Grand Prix II June 4 Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 6. National Inter State June 9-12 Chennai, Tamil Senior Athletics Nadu Championship 7. 2nd North East Zone August 2-3 Guwahati Junior Athletics Championship 8. North Zone Junior August 17-19 UP Athletics Championship 9. East Zone Junior August 17-19 Jharkhand Athletics Championship 10. South Zone Junior August 21-23 Tamil Nadu Athletics Championship 11. West Zone Junior August 21-23 Maharashtra Athletics Championships 12. National Inter Zonal September 2-4 Ranchi Junior Athletics Championships 13. National Youth September 20-22 Pune Athletics Championships 14. Indian Grand Prix III September 25 Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 15. National Open September 29 to Cochin, Kerala Athletics Championship October 1 16. National Sprint October 9-10 Mumbai&Relay Championship 17. National Endurance Meet October 15-17 Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) 18. National Jumps& October 19-20 Bangalore Combined Events 19. Inter District November 5-7 Nasik Athletics Meet 20. National Junior November 25-28 Mangalore Athletics Championship 21. National Cross February 8, 2009 Bhilai Country Championship Slots for other competitions: State Athletics August 1-15 Throughout India Championships District Athletics September 1-15 Throughout India Championships Board Meets September 1-20.

UNI IS NM RKM RK1720

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