Even as delegates from 71 countries, in the Capital for a Commonwealth Games General Assembly, are wined and dined and taken around a “prepared” Delhi, comes the news that Graeme Hudson, the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee's manager for shooting, has resigned.
In a damning letter to the Commonwealth Shooting Federation's (CSF) country units, Hudson, a New Zealander who is also president of the CSF, has cited unprofessionalism and infighting on the part of both the Delhi Organising Committee (OC) and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) as major reasons for his quitting a year before the Games.
Hindustan Times has a copy of that letter, sent out on October 5 (see box).
Lalit Bhanot, OC secretary-general, while confirming Hudson's resignation, added: “We have not accepted it yet. We are having a meeting with him on October 15 and the issue will be resolved.”
Hudson was asked to come on board early this year after the NRAI nominee for competition manager --- Avtar Singh Sethi --- was not accepted by the CGF, reportedly because he did not have the requisite qualifications or experience.
In the letter, Hudson stated that he had agreed to the job on the condition that Sethi would be the “titular” Competition Manager and he would be Sports Manager, “with full authority and responsibility for the shooting event”. This, he says, did not happen.
More pertinently, while asking country units to send in entries for the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships (a test event for the Games, scheduled for February 2010) Hudson has asked that no one make “any deposits”, till they know for sure if event/s will “go ahead”.
HT has learnt that only 11 out of 71 countries have sent in preliminary entries for the CSFC in toto, while six events don't even fulfill the criteria --- a minimum of six countries is required for a particular event to take place.
Hudson meanwhile also indicated serious problems in the full-bore event for the Games. “At a full-bore meeting last Wednesday, Mr. Avtar Sethi on behalf of NRAI proposed we use electronic targets of a make I have never known to be used for Commonwealth style shooting before. I will in coming days investigate the capability of these targets… but warned the committee they are placing the completion of the full-bore range in time for the CSFC at risk.”
Bhanot though said the February championships would take place as planned. “We have lots of time left and will get a good number of entries.”