Drive to catch age cheats in table tennis

New Delhi, Dec 13: With just 10 days left for the Cadet and Sub-Junior Nationals in Ajmer, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has tightened the noose around the age-defaulters with an ultimatum that proper age-proof certificates need to be produced before the federation.

This follows the drive initiated by the TTFI during the East Zone National Ranking Championships at Siliguri this October after several protests were lodged by players and parents alike.

TTFI in a statement said that certain paddlers have been habitual offenders with more than one registered dates of birth which the state associations have been conveniently ignoring.

In all the errant cases, the TTFI has taken stern actions, including docking ranking points and suspending the players from participating in that particular event. But with the menace of over-age continuing and being one of the main issues, the TTFI has decided to ask for an undertaking from those players under the radar of suspicion.

The introduction of undertaking, TTFI secretary-general Dhanraj Choudhary feels, will curb the overage threat effectively.

“As per the undertaking, a player can be subjected to a medical test by a panel of doctors and, if he or she is proven guilty, the paddler will be penalized, with the maximum punishment of debarment,” he said.

TTFI is also set to introduce the on-line entry system.

“This has often created confusion at the venue with players landing up without valid entries. Moreover, the on-line entry registration will also put an end to the eleventh hour entries from state associations, adding to the burden of the tournament officials” said Choudhary.