The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday said that it fully supported its officials’ appeal, seeking a review of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) court’s decision that reprimanded and issued a strong warning to them.
The CGF court reprimanded and issued a warning to the Chef de Mission Vikram Singh Sisodia, Secretary General AFI Namdev Shirgaonkar and Vice President of AFI Ravinder Chaudhry after needles were found in triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi’s room last week, that violated the CGF’s ‘no needle policy’.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court reprimanded these officials, stating that they and other persons failed to ensure compliance with the ‘no needle policy’, and warned the three Officials that any further infractions by any member of the Indian team could result in withdrawal of the accreditation of the offending person.
Sisodia made a strong appeal to the CGF to review the court’s decision as the officials had taken every possible step to ensure that the athletes followed the stringent rule.
In his appeal to the CGF made on April 15, Sisodia said: “All Team leaders/ managers/chief coaches were instructed for compliance of the ‘no needle policy’. During the hearing, minutes of the meeting were also handed over to the panel which proves that all efforts were made by us to make athletes aware about the ‘no needle policy’.”
“Both the athletes were told several times by their officials about the policy during their team meetings,” the appeal said.
He insisted that the officials mentioned in the decision were in no way a party to the incident and requested the CGF to review the decision taken by the court. “Indian officials mentioned in the decision are in no way a party to this incident as they have taken all the necessary steps in ensuring compliance to the no needle policy,” Sisodia said.
In an official statement, IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said, “It is unfortunate that the CGF court reprimanded the Indian officials who had made every attempt to ensure athletes fell in line with the CGF’s ‘no needle policy’.
“While IOA will further investigate into those athletes who were found with needles in the Games Village, we stand by our officials’ request to the CGF to review its decision,” the IOA statement said.