Pune: Games Village door keys are favourite mementos, specially for those who fail to win medals—no pun intended.
This case may not be of memento collection but of indiscretion, or rather plainly being careless that has cost the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Rs 73,988 that the governing body intends to recover from the respective national sports federations whose athletes’ rooms were listed as defaulters by the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organisers.
The April 4-18 Commonwealth Games in Australia saw India winning 26 gold medals, 20 silver and 20 bronze with shooting contributing the most—7 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals.
Performance apart, three months since the Games got over the Organising Committee has sent a bill to IOA for various indiscretion and damages caused by the Indian athletes who were allotted official stay at the Games Village.
Though the total amount may not be a huge sum, but it shows how careless and reckless some of the athletes are while using the complimentary accommodation facilities provided at the multi-sports events.
At other championships where stay is usually booked at hotels, damages if any are immediately charged to the respective person during check-out.
As soon as the IOA received intimation about the money Gold Coast would debit from IOA account, the Indian body has decided to swing into action to recover the said amount from the respective federations.
“I strongly recommend that the total amount of Rs 73,988 debited to IOA by CWG OC should be recovered from the respective NSF’s (less refrigerator hiring charges) immediately,” the IOA President Narinder Batra wrote to Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, a copy of which is in possession of Sakal Times.
“The NSF’s should be asked to speak with concerned athletes and support staff that such things should not happen in future. The room numbers to which these issues relate to are on Page No 2 and each NSF can identify the concerned from their respective room nos,” Batra wrote.
“Such kind of activities bring bad name for our country and these are basic things each participating NSF now needs to explain and tell its participating athletes and officials in Asian Games and thereafter in all other games in future,” he added.
Athletics team were second worst defaulters misplacing three keys and damaging cushions costing Rs 11,832 to the IOA. Para-athletes, shooting, squash, table tennis and weightlifting were the other disciplines that have been named in the list sent to the IOA, and mostly for the missing door keys.
Men’s basketball team were the worst defaulters damaging internal doors of the apartment and misplacing one key that cost the IOA Rs 20,400.
Indian men lost all their three preliminary matches to end their campaign on a disappointing note. Whether the breaking of door was a result of frustration will not be known until someone from the team comes out in open to accept it.