The Haryana government mandated that sportspersons employed with the state government should hand over one-third of the income that they have earned from professional sports or commercial endorsements to the state’s Sports Council.

In a gazetted notification dated April 30 and undersigned by Ashok Khemka, principal secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, the notification reads, “In case the sportsperson is treated on duty with the prior approval of the competent authority while taking part in professional sports or commercial endorsements, the full income earned by the sportsperson on this account will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council.”

Haryana sportspersons and the government were at loggerheads earlier in April over a proposed cut in prize money for athletes employed with units like the Railways and Services.

At the time, Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij stated, “...we gave relaxation in our policy and considered even those players who play for bodies like Railways, lest they feel that they got any less than what their counterparts who represent the state get.”

Vij further said: “Everyone is aware that Haryana gives highest award money. What we had said is that we will deduct the prize money that they get from their employer, in case of any, from the total reward money.”

Thirteen of the 22 who won medals at Gold Coast, represent organisations such as Indian Railways and Army. The Haryana government was to felicitate all the 22 medal winners but cancelled the function after a boycott by top athletes such as Neeraj Chopra, Vinesh Phogat and Manoj Kumar.

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