Overage controversy mars badminton tournament finals | other | Hindustan Times
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Overage controversy mars badminton tournament finals

After the initial instances of Sumit Choudhary and Robin Singh, who were debarred from playing the Pramod Mahajan Badminton Tournament two days ago following overage complaints, the organising committee cracked down on the players after they tested positive in the age-verification test, reports Anupma Tripathi.

other Updated: Nov 26, 2009 23:01 IST
Anupma Tripathi

After the initial instances of Sumit Choudhary and Robin Singh, who were debarred from playing the Pramod Mahajan Badminton Tournament two days ago following overage complaints, the organising committee cracked down on the players after they tested positive in the age-verification test. Subsequently, they were disallowed from playing the finals on Thursday.

The players in question were to play in the finals of U-10, U-13 and U-16 categories. The move didn’t go down well with the parents who were up in the arms and created a huge commotion. The situation forced the organisers to stall the on-going matches. As a result, all the matches, barring the U-19, men’s singles, women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles, and girls’ matches (all categories) have been postponed indefinitely.

The vice-president of the Delhi Badminton Association (DBA), Sushil Bhatia, said, “The parents were really angry and we had to stop the matches to avoid any untoward happening.” Sudhanshu Mittal, the patron of the event said, “I don’t want even a single overage player in the tournament, so we decided to go ahead with the medical examination of the boys as we had received too many complaints.” The organisers asked 24 boys to undergo tests at Apollo Hospital, out of which six didn’t turn up. One player was found faking his age in the U-10 category, while three were found feigning their age in the U-16 category,” he said.

Of the 14 left, the medical report prepared by Dr. Amit Nath Mishra of Apollo gave 10 shuttlers the benefit of doubt, while the others passed the test. Mishra, however, refused to speak to HT.

When asked why the participants were not subjected to age-verification checks before the start of the tournament, Mittal said, they (the organisers) couldn’t do anything unless they received complaints.

As reported in the Hindustan Times earlier, the organisers had summoned Sumit Choudhary, who had claimed to be an U-12 player, for medical tests but he failed to show up.

DBA secretary, SP Singh, when asked about the future course of action said, “A five-member committee has been formed to look into the matter. Action will be taken against players if they are found flouting the age laws.”

Nine-year-old Kartikey was to play the U-10 final on Thursday but was denied permission, as he was found overage. Gulshan Kumar, Kartikey’s father, was all fire and brimstone, “My kid was born on Feb 22, 2000, but they say he is overage. We will not allow the matches to resume unless they explain the situation here,” he said. Mittal responded by saying, “We will take them to a government hospital also.”