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No meat to our Olympic challenge

There's little meat to our preparations for the 2012 Olympics. Soaring food prices have bit into the non-vegetarian quota of India's elite athletes training at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala. HT reports.

india Updated: May 06, 2011 02:04 IST
Saurabh Duggal

There's little meat to our preparations for the 2012 Olympics. Soaring food prices have bit into the non-vegetarian quota of India's elite athletes training at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala.

Meat has made a quiet but quick exit from the breakfast and lunch menus as the authorities struggle to provide campers a world-beating diet within a daily allowance of Rs 550.

An athlete spends Rs100 on food supplements, R75 go towards hostel accommodation, leaving just Rs 375 for food.

"We've raised the issue with the Sports Authority of India and the matter is under consideration," says LS Ranawat, executive director, NIS, Patiala.

The athletes, too, took up the matter with sports minister Ajay Maken when he visited the facility last month.

"Protein is an extremely important part of our nutrition plan. I hope this matter is resolved quickly," says boxer Vijender Singh, who won a bronze at Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Maken is out of country and couldn't be contacted.

"An increase in diet money should not be an issue. We need a concrete proposal from NIS," said a sports ministry spokesperson.