Saturday, December 8, 2012

Indian sports - it’s the time for cleaning

Indian Olympic Association
Sports is not an area where we can claim much global triumphs, except in a couple of events like Cricket, Chess etc. 1.2bn+ people are still starving for medals in international events like Olympics, FIFA World cup, Athletic meets etc.

Number of medals we got in Olympics’ may be an indication of where we are standing in international sports. India started participating in this sporting extravaganza right from the second games - Paris - in 1900; 27 years before the so called 'Indian Olympic Association' came into existence. In Paris, we won two silver medals - Norman Gilbert Pritchard (British descent) become the first person to win an Olympic medal representing India (first for an Asian nation as well). Over 112 years we got just 28 medals.

Games Medals
1900 - Paris Norman Pritchard (Athletics - 2 Silver)
1928 - Amsterdam National team - Hockey (Gold)
1932 - LosAngeles National team - Hockey (Gold)
1936 - Berlin National team - Hockey (Gold)
1948 - London National team - Hockey (Gold)
1952 - Helsinki National team - Hockey (Gold),
Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav  (Wrestling - Bronze)
1956 - Melbourne National team - Hockey (Gold)
1960 - Rome National team - Hockey (Gold)
1964 - Tokyo National team - Hockey (Gold)
1968 - Mexico National team - Hockey (Bronze)
1972 - Munich National team - Hockey (Bronze)
1980 - Moscow National team - Hockey (Gold)
1996 - Atlanta Leander Paes - Tennis (Bronze)
2000 - Sydney Karnam Malleswari - Weightlifting (Bronze)
2004 - Athens Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - Shooting (Silver)
2008 - Beijing Abhinav Bindra - Shooting (Gold), Vijender Singh - Boxing (Bronze),
Sushil Kumar  - Wrestling (Bronze)
2012 - London Gagan Narang - Shooting (Bronze), Vijay Kumar - Shooting (Silver),
Saina Nehwal - Badminton (Bronze), Mary Kom  - Boxing (Bronze), Yogeshwar Dutt - Wrestling (Bronze), Sushil Kumar - Wrestling (Silver)

It is ironic that, Indian hockey team, which once dominated the world of Hockey, is not even sure of an Asian medal in these days.

However, fall from grace didn't improve the attitude of both national and state Hockey Federations. This problem is not limited to Hockey; almost all other sporting federations came down to such a level that nothing less than critical surgeries will help.

Banning ‘Indian Olympic Association (IOA)’ and suspending Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF)

Adding to the humiliation, "At a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, the IOC banned the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and said a vote to elect its secretary-general on Wednesday would be "null and void"" It didn't stop there, "Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) has been suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for "possible manipulation" of its elections". 

If we wait for some more time, they will suspend some other association as well!!! After all how many of them are really interested in working for the improvement of sports in India?

The irony is, in both cases reason for suspension was elections. Why, India, which conducts world biggest election exercise once in every five years, was unable to conduct proper elections to these small sporting bodies? Why we have people coming right form the jail heading these organizations? Why we have people who may never played any sports other than political horse-trading are heading these organizations?

The problem is not that, politicians are heading these governing bodies, but its the detachment of these numerous associations, federations with sports!!!


Government should bring in sweeping changes in the governance of these bodies. It’s time for the wind of change to open the closed doors. In India, government is the primary source of income for these sporting bodies - except probably for cricket. In other words, money is coming from public exchequer – which again paid by you and me.

So government has every right and obligation to install proper bodies to govern and improve sports in India. No matter whether IOC cry foul or not, no matter whether they ban some other federations or not; government should take this ban from IOC as an excuse to act decisively and throw out all unwanted elements from sport councils.



1. Athletes hope IOC ban could bring change - Reuters
2. International Olympic Association (IOA)
3. Indian boxing federation suspended in wake of IOC ban - Irish Indepenent

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