India’s leading Olympians and former sportspersons have said that it was a shame that the Indian Olympic Association had to be suspended. Union sports minister Jitendra Singh termed it as “very unfortunate for sports” and “embarrassing for sportspersons”.
Gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics, shooter Abhinav Bindra posted on Twitter: “Bye Bye IOA, hope to see u again soon, hopefully cleaner!”
Five-time Olympian Mahesh Bhupathi tweeted: “So I got banned, now the IOA gets banned, they says things like these normally happen in three’s.. Wonder what’s next!!”
Boxer MC Mary Kom said it would be difficult for her to compete without knowing the fate of Indian sport. “I don’t have a good feeling about this. I will not be able to give my 100 percent without the Indian flag,” she said.
Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt said it was an “embarrassment for all the Indians, especially sportspersons”. “I feel these associations are for the sports people and they should work in favour of the athletes,” he added.
Hockey goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri said his heart is broken. “Olympic Games is the dream of every athlete and the sportspersons work really hard to participate in the Games. It is sad that the IOA has been suspended. The news will break many hearts, as it has already broken mine,” he said.
Shooter Vijay Kumar said that the suspension should never have happened. “Like the players are expected to do well, the authorities are supposed to handle these things better. If it persists, it will be a shame for the country.”
Former weightlifter Karnam Malleswari said: “It is a shame. Just as we had started to win more medals in the (London) Olympics and were eyeing for more in the future, this has put us back. It is high time politicians stopped ruling sport associations and made a mockery of it. I am really pained.”
U Vimal Kumar, former shuttler, said that the suspension would not affect sportspersons. “The administrators have let the country down. But no sportsperson will suffer. If they are really good, automatically they will get support.”
AB Subbaiah, former hockey goalkeeper, said: “If IOA cared for athletes, they would not have let this happen. I also don’t understand why the government did not do anything. Are the administrators there only for position?”