As the world spins towards the London Olympics, various reports about Indian athletes and their sad stories are springing up in the media.
Race walkers Basant Bahadur Rana and Irfan KT have complained about spending from their own pockets for their shoes as associations and federations are sending officials to London equipped with hefty stipends.
In another report, P Kunhumohammed — 400m runner and Joseph G Abraham— gold medalist at the Asian Games in 400m hurdles missed out on a shot at Olympic qualification because there were no funds to send them to Colombo for an athletics event.
The first sentiment one associates with these issues is that of feeling bad for the athletes. We spoke to veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon and he had an interesting take.
“On the face of it, it looks like we’ve gone back to the dark ages of Indian sport. Yes, maybe you cannot afford a pair of shoes… but what stops you from asking for it three months in advance? Why now? Why on the eve of the Olympics? This should have been made public earlier.
“But I do dislike things like there not being enough shuttlecocks to practice at Pullela Gopichand’s academy. And the Sports Authority of India is saying that the shuttlecocks are coming from Singapore. There is a deadline to the Olympics! You can’t mess up in these matters.”
Memon also believes that the issue is ‘multi-layered’ and in the day and age of so much information, these things cannot be repressed for long.
We also talk to him about Sunil Chhetri signing for Sporting Lisbon and how such moves will help Indian sport.
To listen to all Ayaz Memon had to say, check out our video above.