Haryana sports department has sent a communication to its Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes to furnish an undertaking, signed and stamped by a judicial first-class magistrate that ‘if they are found guilty of a criminal act or involved in any form of sexual harassment, the advance amount of Rs five lakh sanctioned to them for their Olympic preparations will immediately be transferred back to the department in full.’
The undertaking also states that if they are found guilty of doping ahead of the Olympics, the advance amount will be also be taken back.
According to a report by TOI, the only athlete to receive the amount is boxer Amit Panghal.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on August 22 last year had approved a scheme to give Rs five lakh in advance as part of the total sanctioned amount of Rs 15 lakh, with the remaining Rs 10 lakh to be given after the Summer Games.
Amit Panghal, Pooja Rani Bohra, Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan, Neeraj Chopra, Rahul Rohilla, Sandeep Poonia, Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Deswal, Abhishek Verma, Sanjeev Rajput, Vinesh Phogat, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Seema Bisla, Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia and Sumit Malik are the 19 athletes to have qualified for Tokyo Olympics.
Some of the athletes are not happy.
“We are proud Indian athletes, not criminals. Several women athletes from the state have qualified for the Games. Are you saying that they’ll also have to sign this distasteful affidavit?” said 20km race walker, Sandeep Poonia told TOI.
“Such words should be removed. It doesn’t make any sense,” said race walker Rahul Rohilla told TOI.
“We come from a socially-conservative background. Papa ko affidavit dene mein bhi sharm aa rahi thi (I was feeling uncomfortable sharing this with my father). They shouldn’t have incorporated this clause,” said a female wrestler, who didn’t wish to be named.