The India Olympic Association chief Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra has ridiculed Commonwealth Games as a sub-standard competition, adding that participation in the Games is a waste of time.
“These Games have no standard. For me, these are a waste of time and money. We win 70 medals, 100 medals at the Commonwealth Games while at the Olympics, we get stuck at two (medals),” Batra is quoted as saying by the Indian Express, referring to India’s tally in Rio. “That means the level of competition isn’t high at CWG. It’s not a ranking tournament either. So why waste time? We should rather go to better competitions and prepare for the Olympics.”
The IOA and the National Rifles Association of India had called to boycott the 2002 Birmingham Commonwealth Games over shooting’s exclusion from the Games. The IOA in fact had also formally appraised the Ministry of Youth Affair and Sports about its vision and opinion. However, there is so far no support to the boycott call from the Government.
Dismissing the relevance of the CWG, Dr Batra has now said that India should withdraw from the games altogether rather than opting out of the one-odd edition.
The Government has so far resisted the calls from the IOA and NRAI to boycott the Birmingham Games.
Dr Batra, insisting that decision on the CWG boycott cannot be taken unilaterally, rather advises to compete in the events which have high standard of competition. He will formally put up this proposal at the IOA executive board meeting next month. The matter may then be taken up with the Union Government and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin, who is scheduled to visit India in November.
Louise Martin is scheduled to visit New Delhi on November 14 to meet IOA officials as well as Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Endorsing the statement as his personal view and not an IOA stand, Dr Batra had told Indian Express that the CWG had no standard. “We get 70, 100 medals in Commonwealth and when it comes to Olympics we get two medals. You have world Cups and other events where you can have better competition. If CWG says it spent £22 million (on Shooting at Glasgow 2014) and can’t have it now because of money, please shut shop and call it quits. If you don’t have money, why are you wasting time? Don’t make it a joke.
“We are not here to make anybody happy. Once we were part of this large British empire. We are not slaves anymore. We secured independence in 1947. There are 30 countries of Commonwealth who don’t play CWG. It is a political decision. We have asked the Government to guide us. But I feel playing CWG is a waste of time. If you want to develop and win medals in 2028, 2032 (Olympics), CWG is not the Games.”
The strong sports administrator, the IOA president has a proven track record. As the Hockey India president he brought in professionalism.