The Indian cycling team for the Commonwealth Games is threatening to return the imported cycles to the Sports Authority of India, claiming that SAI forced the riders to sign bonds making them "answerable" for any damage caused to the equipment worth crores.
The riders got the cycles, each of which is worth lakhs, just a few days ago and were asked to sign bonds by SAI after that. The Bond apparently states that in case a cycle is lost or damaged while in use, the rider would be held responsible for it.
The cyclists initially refused to sign the bond but were "pressurised" into signing it after some time.
"SAI didn't tell us that we were supposed to sign these bonds while we were being handed those cycles. When we got to know of it, we told them we would not take the cycles if this was the case.
"In case of any damage or if somebody loses his or her cycle then that rider will have to pay for it," a cyclist told PTI-Bhasha on condition of anonymity.
India's cycling coach Kiran Bala conceded that the riders were asked to sign the bonds but said it was routine procedure to ensure that the expensive equipment is handled with care by those who would be using it.
"Yes, they were made to sign bonds but that is just to ensure that they care for these cycles in the same way they care for their personal equipment. It is nothing unusual.
"The cyclists don't have to worry because all the cycles are anyways insured," the coach said.
When contacted, a SAI official justified the move.
"These are very expensive cycles. We want to ensure that they return to us in good condition," the official said.