New Delhi, Aug 20: There was more embarrassment for India Tuesday at the ongoing Asian Youth Games in China’s Nanjing as three weightlifters were barred for taking part in the event after they were found to be overage.
The three lifters, all 1996 born, are Chandrika Tarafdar, Jyoti Mal and Akshay Bhagwan. They were asked to pack their bags and go back home.
Indian weightlifting officials told IANS that overage weightlifters were selected because of confusion in the eligibility criteria.
“We went by the rules of our international body according to which athletes born in 1996 were eligible. But only after reaching there we came to know of the criteria applied by the organisers – those born between 1997 to 1999 (i.e. 14 to 16 years of age in 2013),” an official on the condition of anonymity told IANS.
The official wondered how the tournament organisers granted visa and accreditation to the athletes. The event is affliated to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), of which Randhir Singh is the secretary-general.
This comes after 18 Indian athletes were sent back home for the same reason. Four Indian badminton players also failed to take part after their names were not entered by the Badminton Federation of India (BFI).
Indians are participating in the Asian Youth Games as independent Olympic athletes because the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Sports minister Jitendra Singh Monday has already ordered an inquiry into the incident.
“The minister has asked Director General, Sports Authority of India (SAI) to conduct an inquiry into both the incidents and fix the responsibility on the individuals responsible for the lapses. The minister has also directed DG, SAI to put in place a mechanism so that such incidents do not occur in future,” a statement from the ministry read.