Khel Ratna awardee and ace Indian shooter Ronjan Singh Sodhi disgraced by Sports Ministry
In yet another case of ignorance, 2013 Khel Ratna awardee and former double Trap world number one Ronjan Singh Sodhi has been denied training funds by the Sports Ministry. One of India’s strongest Olympic bets among the various shotgun based disciplines was made to wait for close to three months, before being denied his claim.
Sodhi said, “I was made to run from one office to the other, in an attempt to garner funds, now that they are not going to release it. I will be funding my own training in Italy. I was actually supposed to be in Italy by now. My training was scheduled to begin on October 12, but they made me go to various offices, delaying the process. Now I have just two weeks left.”
The 35-year old now has only two weeks left to train, ahead of his last chance to book an Olympic spot in Rio next year. He added,”I was granted training fees for a total of 30 days, but two days prior to my departure I was informed my personal Coach couldn’t travel with me. Then they told me that my file wasn’t cleared because I didn’t submit my accounts on time. I assure you, that was not the case.”
Sodhi will be participating in the Asian Shooting Championship on November 3, which will act as the last Olympic qualification event for Indian trap/double trap/skeet hopefuls. He said,” I’m not going to complain stating that they don’t give funds. But as an act of professionalism, they should at least give us the funds they have granted, instead of mistreating and cancelling it at the last moment. Now my entire schedule has to be fast tracked.”
This is not the first case of such ignorance by the Ministry. Earlier this year, National triple jump record holder Arpinder Singh was denied funds by the Ministry at the last moment, stating that he didn’t fill in the prerequisite details required as the problem. Such major dismeanours have raised questions about the Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, which designated the country’s finest athletes training abroad, ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
First Arpinder and now former world record holder Ronjan Singh Sodhi, only time can tell how the Sports Ministry can retort to the claims.