Commonwealth Games and Asian Games champions Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia will have their promised prize money reduced after multiple wins in international events, Indian Express reported.
In the CWG held at Gold Coast last year, Haryana’s sportspersons had accounted for 22 out of 66 the medals won. In the Asian Games held Haryana’s players won 17 out of 61 medals.
Punia threatened to return the prize money he received after the latest development. “I received the amount in my account which is less than what we should be getting. Why would you change the policy,” Bajrang told Scroll.in.
“If this isn’t changed then I will go to the chief minister and return the money which they have sent. Why give anything then? I will ask other sportspersons [to return the money as well]. We will meet the CM if we don’t get the full money.”
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According to the new sports policy, if a player wins a medal in the world championship in the same year as the Olympics or Asian Games/CWG, the medal in higher category alone will be awarded the full cash prize.
Vinesh Phogat also slammed the change in policy: “As a player, we prepare the same for every event and it takes the same effort to win medal whether it be Olympics, World Championship or Asian Games or Commonwealth Games,” Phogat said. “How can the Haryana government term an event higher or lower and give the players reduced prize money for the second event in the same year.”
She added, “When we contacted the sports department officials today, we were told that the Rs 75 lakh deduction from the Rs 3 crore prize money of Asian Games is for the deduction for the prize money of Rs 1.5 crore given in CWG as we have now won Asian games medal.
“Is it a crime to win medals in two events? Also as per the sports policy, the cash prize for youth/cadet category have also been stopped. They have also not informed or given us any jobs for winning medals in CWG/Asian Games.”
Haryana Minister Anil Vij responded to Punia and Phogat’s scathing attacks on Twitter. “On the basis of sports policy prize money has been distributed. If there is some discrepancy they can speak to the department. We have never disrespected our sportspersons.”