A day before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Indian Olympic Association has announced cash awards to the medal winners and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) that are participating in the mega event.
"The Advisory Committee of IOA has recommended cash award of Rs 75 lakh for each gold medal winner; Rs. 40 lakh silver and Rs. 25 lakh to the bronze medal winners. It also recommended a sum of Rs. 1 lakh to each athlete representing the country at the Tokyo Olympic Games," the IOA informed in a release on Thursday.
The IOA has also acknowledged the suggestions of its advisory group that a bonus of Rs. 25 lakh be given to each participating National Sports Federations and a further support of Rs 30 lakh to each medal-winning NSFs of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the release added.
The advisory group, recognizing the contributions of the athletes and the support staff, has also recommended a pocket allowance of USD 50 per day to each member of the Indian contingent for their actual days of stay in Tokyo, Japan.
The member State Olympic Associations of the Indian Olympic Association will also receive a sum of Rs 15 lakh each, as a contribution from IOA towards developing sports infrastructure in the states and in encouraging more athletes to take up sports and realizing their dreams of representing the country in global sports events.
While making the official announcement, the IOA Secretary General, Mr Rajeev Mehta said: "The Indian Olympic Association understands the hardships faced by the athletes and the federations and felt that support and aid is required by all National Sports Federations, State Olympic Associations and most importantly the athletes, after having overcome the hurdles and hard times during the Coronavirus pandemic since March last year".
However, this simple announcement again brought out the internal squabbles in the organisation to the fore again as, soon after the release, IOA president Narinder Batra sent out a statement on WhatsApp to the media taking to task Mehta and IOA's Finance Committee Chair, Anil Khanna, for trying to take credit for a discussion that was initiated by him during the pandemic last year.
Batra said a virtual meeting to give approval to the recommendations by secretary general Mehta to the Finance Committee was called when he was traveling to Tokyo.
He also asked them to hike the annual grant to IOA member units from Rs 7 lakh to Rs 12 lakh.