Financial crisis has hit India’s leading road race organizer, Procam International. The company has failed to give prize money to winners of the 2020 Delhi half marathon in the elite Indian athlete category.
The one-day event was held in November 2020. The prize money is generally given within 60-day of the competition. But more than nine months have lapsed and Procam International hasn’t given the prize money, said one of the Indian athletes whose dues are pending. In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, the athlete said:
“The prize money is generally given to the winners within 60 days of the competition. We don’t know the exact reason for the delay, but it has been more than nine months since the dues are pending,” said the distance runner.
Top 10 in elite Indian and foreign categories in men and women’s event are entitled to cash prize money.
Army distance runner Avinash Sable was winner of the 21km elite Indian category and overall finished 10. Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn was winner of the men's 21km race in the elite foreign group.
While Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw was first in the elite women’s category, Parul Chaudhary was first in the Indian women’s 21km and overall 12th.
According to the athlete, Procam International paid part of the prize money in installment last month.
“We have got only 33 percent of our prize money. We don’t know when Procam International will pay the remaining amount of the prize money,” said the athlete.
The Delhi half marathon is recognized by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and World Athletics.
What has Procam said?
In a letter to elite Indian athletes, Procam International recently said:
"We are sensitive to the fact that there is a pending appearance fee and prize money for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020."
“As an immediate relief we have released part payment of the prize money. We will do everything possible to clear the pending dues at the earliest possible."
Due to the pandemic, Procam International couldn’t start its series of road racing circuit in February.
“We were hoping that things would get better in the beginning of 2021 and we could conduct Mumbai marathon in February, which was later pushed to May. However, the second wave of Covid-19 hit hard and we had to halt our plans,” Procam International further said.
Procam International could not be reached for comment on the delay in prize money. Procam International organizes multiple prize money road races in India.
The series starts with the Mumbai marathon in January/February. The world 10k in Bengaluru in May is the second race of the series, followed by Delhi's half marathon in October/November. Kolkata’s 25k in November/December is the last event on the circuit.