Dhindsa 'influencing' CWG cycling trials
There is a groundswell of"opposition" to the Commonwealth Games' selection trials for the cycling team, with several state associations expressing reservations over the process.other Updated: Aug 18, 2010 22:59 IST
There is a groundswell of"opposition" to the Commonwealth Games' selection trials for the cycling team, with several state associations expressing reservations over the process.
The general-secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Cycling Association, Durgaprasad Dixit, also a former cyclist, has even sent a notice to the CWG Organising Committee's additional director general (technical) and in-charge of the Cycling Federation of India (CFI), that if the trials were not held in a"transparent and open" manner, he would seek a stay.
The trials are on in Patiala but Dixit alleges that only cyclists from one state and those in the good books of CFI president, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, are getting preference in selection.
Furnishing letters from state associations, including Maharashtra and Assam, the two powerhouses, Dixit said only handpicked state associations were sent letters about the trials."The rest were kept in the dark," he alleged.
The CFI is embroiled in so many litigations that the Sports Ministry had to put its foot down and de-recognise it. The Ministry then asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to appoint officials to look after the selection affairs of the body.
The IOA, in turn, appointed ASV Prasad to oversee the trials."We have de-recognised the (Dhindsa-led) CFI because of the litigations against it," said Prasad, the Ministry's joint secretary, adding that an IOA representative was taking the decisions now.
“On Monday, some 125 cyclists from across the country reached Patiala for the trials but they were not allowed to participate," said Dixit."Why is Prasad not calling for open trials? Many cyclists, currently not in the CWG core group of 36 are much better than those in it (core group)," he said.
TC Mehta, joint secretary of the Punjab Cycling Association, seconded his contention.
When contacted, Prasad said only those state associations had been sent letters whose cyclists were in the core group."The core group for the CWG was formed after carefully choosing the best in the country. The team will now be selected from that group. Why should we, at this stage, conduct open trials?" he said.
But Dixit said many state associations had been ignored even in the open trials conducted a year ago to select the core group."Only those state associations close to Dhindsa got letters while the rest were ignored," he alleged.
“I fail to understand how Dhindsa is still exercising so much clout and continues to remain president event though he doesn't fit into the new government guidelines. He is 74-plus, whereas the maximum age to remain as the head of a federation (set by the government) is 70."