After getting clearance from the sports ministry, the fate of India's developmental squad, which is supposed to participate in a hockey tri-series in Lahore next month, is in the hands of the home and external affairs ministries.
Sports minister Ajay Maken said on Wednesday that the 18-member squad, currently training in Bangalore, had been cleared by his ministry, but because of security concerns, the nod from the other two ministries was awaited.
“The proposal has been sent and the clearance is awaited,” Maken said on the sidelines of the launch of the ministry’s portal, OPEX London, which gives details about India’s preparations for the Olympics.
Maken also said that there was no question of boycotting the London Games because of the Dow Chemicals sponsorship issue, but added that the ministry would continue lodging protests. “We have also raised the issue through diplomatic channels,” he said.
“My ministry has been repeatedly asking the Indian Olympic Association to apprise the International Olympic Committee of the concerns of the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.”
On the issue of dope offenders, including Asian Games gold-medallist Ashwini Akkunji, training at the Sports Authority of India-run training centre at Sonepat, Maken said, “I will initiate a probe into the matter.”
Despite the one-year suspension handed in December last, the runners had been training at Sonepat, which is in violation to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
He also said that the ministry of statistics & programme implementation has allowed the use of Member of Parliament Local Area Development Funds (MPLADS) for raising sports infrastructure in the country. “The move will further improve sports facilities at the grassroots level,” he said.