The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has been foisted with a bill of Rs. 73,988 by the Australian Commonwealth Games organisers for damages by Indian athletes in Gold Coast earlier this year.

The damages claimed by the CWG organising committee are all related to breakages at the Athletes Village with basketball contributing Rs. 20,400 (A$400) for broken internal doors and damaged room keys. This is followed by athletics (Rs. 11,832) and hockey (Rs. 7854). In all, sports persons belonging to eight disciplines have been responsible for damages to their apartments — shooting, squash, table tennis, weightlifting and para-athletics being others. An amount of Rs. 14,726 has been billed as ‘refrigerator hiring charges’.

“I strongly recommend that the total amount should be recovered from the respective NSFs immediately and the NSFs should be asked to speak with the concerned athletes and support staff.

“Such activities bring a bad name to our country and these are basic things each participating NSF needs to tell its athletes and officials at Asian Games and thereafter,” IOA president Narinder Batra wrote.

One of the NSF officials claimed these were inadvertent and no athlete would deliberately damage a property. “Why would anyone damage their door keys or break doors of a place they are living in,” he asked. “It is surprising that the organisers are claiming damages for such things. It is insulting,” he said.

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