Wrestler Sushil Kumar on Wednesday expressed his solidarity with Bajrang Punia and said that the government should felicitate athletes to set a good example.
"Firstly, I would like to extend Punia's statement. He's like my small brother, we should all stand in solidarity with the national level athlete," Kumar told ANI.
"He should be given respect by the government. Haryana policy set the benchmark earlier on how to treat the athletes. I would like to say that the government should hold a ceremony to felicitate the athletes," he added.
Kumar said players do a lot of hard work and they should be felicitated to set a good example among the budding athletes.
"Athletes do a lot of hard work and if you felicitate the players, it would prove to be a good incentive for the budding athletes in the country. Everyone is standing together with Bajrang Punia," Kumar said.
Earlier in the day, Punia had said that he will return the prize money if athletes continue to be disrespected by the state government of Haryana.
"I will return my prize money if the players did not get respect. The government has cancelled the award ceremony and they are directly transferring the curtailed amount to athlete's account. I think the sports policy made by the government is totally bad," Punia told reporters.
The wrestler, who hails from Haryana, on Tuesday had tweeted against the sports policy of the state government for curtailing the winning amount of the sportsperson.
Facing criticism from the gold medalist, Haryana sports minister Anil Vij on Wednesday claimed that his government has always given the biggest prize money as compared to the other states.
"We have not insulted any sportsmen in the state. In fact, we give them the highest winning amount in India. We give them the best job opportunities," Vij told reporters.
However, Punia further slammed the government, saying that it did not fulfill the promise of giving jobs to players.
"I want to ask the Sports Minister of Haryana that whom's sports policy are you talking about. How many jobs have you offered to players?," Punia asked.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)