CWG 2018

Commonwealth Games Federation writes to IOA, blames AFI for selection debacle

The entries of Siddharth Yadav, G Vijaykumari and M Sreeshankar were not accepted, as the AFI ‘flouted rules’.

The Commonwealth Games Federation, in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association has alleged that the Athletics Federation of India ‘chose to disregard’ the deadline for sending entries to the CWG, March 7.

With the entries of high jumper Siddharth Yadav, 400 metre runner G Vijaykumari (picked for the 4X400 metres relay team) and long jumper M Sreeshankar not accepted, CGF CEO David Grevemberg had stated that the AFI had held its qualifiers (Federation Cup) past the deadline and had done these athletes a ‘disservice’.

According to the letter published in the Times of India, Gravemberg writing to IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta said, “We are aware that the Indian Athletics Federation (AFI) hosted its qualifier (Federation Cup) after the entry deadline despite Gold Coast organisers’ warnings around timing conflicts. In choosing to disregard this information, a disservice has been done to your athletes and other Commonwealth Games Associations.”

The AFI secretary CK Valson blamed the IOA and the CWG organisers for the confusion surrounding the submission of entries, “Organisers closed the online entry system for athletes in December itself, so how could we have registered their names? How could we have known in advance that some athletes would spring a pleasant surprise with their notable performances? Also, it’s the IOA’s responsibility to ensure the athletes’ names get included since they finalise the contingent.”

The Field had earlier reported on this problem, as it seemed that the timelines that the AFI had laid out didn’t match the submission dates for the CWG entry system.

The CGF CEO also defended their decision not to relax the criteria for the three athletes, stating that ‘due process’ had been followed.

Gravemberg wrote, “The CGF is aware of correspondence between yourselves (IOA) and GOLDOC which clearly demonstrates an awareness and subsequent disregard of established timelines to the detriment of the athletes. The GC2018 sport entries guide clearly states that late entries will not be accepted after the March 7 deadline and due process has been followed by the CGF in respect to implementation of this deadline. In addition, the athletes in question were not contained on CGA India’s accreditation long list and, therefore, we are unable to make an exception in this regard. The CGF hasn’t approved CGA India’s request for late entries.”

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