The war of words between boxer Manoj Kumar and Sports Authority of India over financial assistance to the former for treatment refuses to die down with SAI issuing statement detailing the money spent on him and the player’s coach accusing the officials of ignoring their pleas.
Manoj Kumar had on Tuesday accused SAI of not bearing the expenses of his treatment for the stress fracture he suffered during the Asian Games and the latter hit back on Thursday with a statement detailing how much money has been spent on the boxer.
Manoj Kumar’s brother Rajesh Kumar, however, alleged that the sports body had not responded to his requests for financial aid despite repeated requests. The expenses, acccording to details accessed by Scroll.in, amounted to Rs 5,30,000.
SAI, in its statement, stated that they had not received any bills from Manoj Kumar requesting for financial aid.
“SAI has not received any proposal from Manoj Kumar seeking financial assistance of Rs 5, 30,400 for his treatment. The proposal was sent to the Boxing Federation of India in November 2018, SAI was marked on the communication sent to BFI, only for information,” it said in a statement.
Rajesh Kumar, who is also Manoj’s coach, refuted the claims and insisted that he had contacted SAI’s officials. “They are just trying to oust Manoj Kumar. How long will we tolerate this?,” Rajesh Kumar told Scroll.in. “SAI initially promised that they would take up the treatment but now they are shirking responsibility.
“We had mailed the estimate to the project officer of SAI, and the officials in charge of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme [TOPS] on September 10, 2018. There has been no activity for the last five months. It’s not about the money but the time a player has lost during this period.”
SAI had stated that the 32-year-old, was given financial assistance when he was part of Target Olympic Podium scheme. “Manoj Kumar was part of the TOP Scheme from 2016 till Asian Games 2018. During this time, he received Rs 24.8 lakh from TOPS,” the SAI stated.
Manoj, who bowed out in the round of 16 at the Jakarta Asian Games, was also left out of the national camp in Patiala due to injured.
But Rajesh Kumar claims the boxer was left out without any communication as they knocked on the doors of sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore for funds.
“The way they measure performances is also questionable. After the Asian Games, there is no competition that he has participated in and the performances have gone down as a result.
“Once the names for the National camp was announced, we were told that Manoj was not fit. Whose responsibility is it to make him fit?,” questioned Rajesh Kumar.
There was light at the end of the tunnel for Rajound-born pugilist. SAI stated that they will assess his performance in the forthcoming months. “He is under review for inclusion in the TOP Scheme, which will depend on a detailed analysis of his performance and probability of him making a podium finish at Tokyo 2020,” SAI said.