It's been more than nine months since the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) hosted the 3rd Asian All Star Athletics Championship, but the Indian athletes, who won more than half the medals on offer in the $70,000 meet, are still waiting their prize money.
Billed as a test event for the Delhi Games in October, India had bagged 12 gold, nine silver and 10 bronze, with a podium finish bringing with it $1500, $800 and $500, respectively.
"We were told that the money would be released quickly," said a medallist, requesting anonymity. When contacted, ML Jadam, AFI president, told HT on Thursday, "We have cleared the backlog, including the money for the Asian All Star meet." When informed that the AFI office had confirmed that the money was yet to be released, Jadam said, "I will get back to you after checking with the office." After that, he stopped responding to phone calls.
The AFI's delaying tactics are not new. In 2009, the federation had held back the prize money of the Indian and Asian Grand Prix for five months, and the money was released only after HT highlighted the issue.