Unlike other countries’ athletes and players participating in the Rio Olympics 2016, our Indian players don’t just have to compete with world’s finest Olympians; they also have to bear the bureaucracy in sports.
Since the onset of Rio Olympics 2016, India has been grappling with its bureaucratic structure’s incapability to ensure certain basics required things for a team to compete in world’s biggest game arena.
The recent incident to add on to the argument is International Boxing Association (AIBA) pointing out a “technical flaw” in Indian Boxing team.
After Manoj Kumar’s win in men’s light welterweight (64kg) category on Wednesday, the AIBA officials noted that his boxing kit did not have ‘India’ written on it including his jersey. Kumar was told that he will be only allowed to participate further only when he has the name of his country written on the back of his jersey. Reportedly, the Indian Boxing federation was banned by AIBA last year in June for failing to put together a new boxing federation. Indian boxers were allowed to participate in 2016 Rio Olympics after an ad-hoc committee was formed by the International Boxing Association. And now the organization has failed to fulfill a statutory requirement—i.e. players wearing jerseys with their country’s name written on it.
Well the story doesn’t end here as National boxing federation is an ad-hoc committee. The Indian contingent has suffered more discrepancies in Rio.
The day after Indian Hockey team reached Rio, coach Roelant Oltmans pointed out at shortage of furnishers in the players rooms. He wrote a letter to India’s Chef de Mission Rakesh Gupta and asked him intervene in the matter as the players were only provided with bean bags. But the hockey federation of India did not consider the issue important and there was no action taken from their behalf. Finally, Hockey India president Narinder Batra took the matter in his hands and posted pictures of the players sitting in an almost empty room. He asked the hockey federation of India to provide Indian players with basic facilities as he wrote, “you do not believe in acknowledging or replying to mails from Hockey India.”
And these aren’t the only issues faced by the players. The lackadaisical attitude of Indian organization still continues as India’s 100 metre sprinter Duttee Chand alleged that the Indian officials booked business class plane tickets for themselves and made her travel in economy class. The Indian sprinter was forced to fly for 36 hours in economy class.
Though the Indian boxers have been allowed to compete in Olympics, the argument still remains the same—is India ready for the Olympics?