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Africans running in AG was human trafficking: Adille

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Using strong words to condemn the practice of African runners competing for cash in the colours of Arab countries in the Asian Games, Federation of chief termed it as "human trafficking" which, he said, was unlikely to happen in future.

"I wear two hats and there are two ways of looking at it. My strong view is that the athletes are bought, used and thrown out by the Arab countries. What they are doing is completely wrong," said Sumariwalla at a organised by the Journalists' Association of Mumbai on Wednesday.

Sumariwalla, also a of the world body IAAF, said further that these African runners did not qualify properly to represent their adopted Arab countries.

"They are not given citizenship, they are given only residency, given fake passports, on the basis of which they are participating and once they finish they are thrown out; that's human trafficking. I am opposed to human trafficking and have done it tooth and nail in IAAF (meetings)," said the former 11-time national sprint champion.

He said the future looked bleak for those countries in trying to adopt the same methods and winning medals, many of them of the golden hue.

"I have got that waiting period increased to three years. They need to be given full citizenship and in places like the (country's) constitution does not allow that. Either they have to change the constitution or figure out how to include them," he added.

However, Sumariwalla said that the AFI has already advised the Indian athletes, who could have won eight more gold medals but for Africans running under the garb of Arabs, to look ahead and compete at a higher level where the same Africans will be there representing their own continent.

"In we won eight silvers and lost eight gold medals (to Africans). But having said that while explaining to athletes I told them we are done with the Asian Games and we should be able to fight with Africans at all levels. The next stop is the world level, so be there."

Sumariwalla said he had some reservations about the government's TOPS scheme because of the manner of selection of sportspersons to be included in the scheme.

"I have huge reservations on the way the selection is done. If it's a relay team three are selected and two others are not. It's a team. Imagine a team in which eight are there and three are not (in TOPS)," he explained.

While praising the institute of sport set up by a private firm in Bellary, as "world class", Sumariwalla questioned the air quality in that place.

"It's outstanding, world class, but what is quality of air there? Can any breath that air? You have mines, a power plant and a (in the vicinity)," he said.

Sumariwalla also said the Indian women's relay teams were the best bets for a medal in world class competitions like next year's world championships in and the 2020 Olympic Games in

"Our best chance is the relays and if I have to put my money I will put them on the relays," he said.

He said Hima Das, who became a huge star with her storming lead run for the gold medal-winning women's 4x400m relay team in in after capturing the silver in the one-lap race earlier, would have to clock below 50 to be a force in world level meets.

"will have to get her time below 50; her graph has been so fast that it will flatten out. She cannot continue at that pace. We will have to preserve her - if not this (2020) but for the next "

Deepali Deshpande, and Boxing Federation of India's also participated in the interaction arranged as a precursor to SJAM's annual awards for the year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 10 2018. 17:50 IST