The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the hub of athletics activities, has been declared out of bounds for institution and departmental coaches. The move comes close on the heels of the doping scandal that has rocked Indian athletics.
It has been discovered that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is only allowing its own coaches to train athletes inside the premises. SAI's new policy, which is yet to be circulated, will hit coaches of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) athletics academy hardest.
"We are not allowing any private coaches to train athletes at the Nehru Stadium," SAI secretary Gopal Krishna told HT on Saturday.
Krishna said that some non-SAI coaches were charging huge sums to impart lessons to athletes, while SAI took a nominal fee. "It's not acceptable. It might pollute the whole system."
However, sources say that SAI has taken this step to keep a check on any unforeseen positive case and to fix responsibility.
But former Delhi administration athletics coach, SS Rai, who has been barred from carrying on with his coaching, doesn't believe in this logic. Rai had been coaching athletes at the stadium since 1983.
Rai is surprised with SAI's attitude. "SAI's latest policy is disappointing. The officials are jumping the gun," he said, adding that it had affected the training regimen of his wards. Recently, when the stadium was thrown open to public, players from all over the Capital, including DDA academy trainees, got enrolled, but after the dope scandal involving eight athletes broke out, SAI officials are leaving nothing to chance.
When asked whether the DDA coaches would be allowed to use the facilities in future, the SAI secretary said, "We first need an official request saying that they are employed with the department."