The badminton Association of India’s (BAI) coaching camp for the 2010 Elite Squads (senior and junior) being held in Hyderabad has been hit by the stomach bug.
Almost 75 per cent of the campers have reported sick at least once ever since the camp started on July 1. The major reason behind the problem is the poor quality of food provided there.
On Monday, Sagar Chopda and Sayali Gokhale had to be taken to hospital when they complained of vomiting and stomach upset.
“The food here is very spicy and most of us have not been able to adjust to it,” sources told the Hindustan Times from Hyderabad.
“We have been requesting them to change the caterer or ask him to make the food as per our requirement but nothing has changed.
“Almost everyone has fallen ill, including locals like P Kashyap, and that has been affecting the training schedule.”
Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) administrator Nani Prasad, responsible for the lodging and boarding arrangements at the camp, admitted that the players were falling ill but was not ready to blame the food entirely.
“It is true that the players complained about the food and had problems in the beginning. But these have been sorted out,” he said.
“Sagar and Sayali too reported sick today but I think it has more to do with the spate of viral fever cases in the city than the quality of food,” he claimed.
Sources said the players were not willing to take any more chances and have made alternate arrangements for themselves till national coach Pullela Gopichand returns from Manila, where he is leading the Asian team against the Europeans in the MVP Cup.
"Since only a few players are left in the camp (five of them have gone to Malaysia and others are playing in the All India junior ranking tournament in Pune) they have almost boycotted the food here," sources said.
"Local player Shruti Kurien has been shuttling players in her car to the city as the Gacchibowli stadium, where the camp is being held, is quite far."