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Under-nourished grapplers can’t stomach this

other Updated: Feb 23, 2009 23:44 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times
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The Sports Authority of India has been earmarked Rs 700 crores for the preparations of elite athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. But whether the Sports Ministry is seriously monitoring the expenditure is not known.

Even as Olympic bronze-medallist, grappler Sushil Kumar, has raised hopes of more medals in the quadrennial Games, comes a disconcerting news that the core group of wrestlers for the CWG — currently undergoing training at Pune — are not getting proper diet, which in turn is affecting their performance. “We are not getting proper diet… how can you expect us to deliver good results,” said one of the campers, who was in the Capital for the function to announce the official tie-up between Sahara India and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

“They are giving us double-toned milk and vegetables prepared in refined oil. We are not getting anything special to supplement our diet,” he added. The wrestlers discussed the issue with the WFI and demanded the camp be shifted to either Patiala or Sonepat. “We have told the federation it’s very difficult to train with this diet. We have even told the federation we don’t want to go back to Pune,” he said.

WFI secretary-general, Kartar Singh said he had received the complaint. “It’s a serious problem… it will disturb their preparation for the Games. We will sort out the issue. We are going to speak to the concerned authorities tomorrow and if they fail to provide proper diet, we will try to shift the camp out of Pune,” he said.

Before going for the Olympics, the wrestlers had their final preparatory camp at Pataila. So why was the camp moved to Pune?

“NIS Patiala is always our first priority, but this time around they turned down our request,” said Kartar.

So, what’s the reason for NIS Patiala’s refusal? “The SAI says that wrestlers are not disciplined. But they have never given anything in writing. So, we don’t know why they don’t want us,” he said.