The quality of food and standard of living at Sports Authority of India’s training centres have come under the scanner again with men’s hockey chief coach Harendra Singh complaining about the same.
In a letter to the federation, that saw its way to the Sports Ministry and SAI through the Indian Olympic Association, Harendra says the AI Centre in Bengaluru not only serves food deficient in nutrients but also maintains shockingly low standards of hygiene.
“I would like to bring to your notice that food quality at SAI Centre is well below par… insects, bugs and even hair were found in the food,” Harendra wrote in the letter dated June 6.
Incidentally, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore had visited the Bengaluru campus before the Commonwealth Games and had been apprised of the issues by the campers. He had given orders to rectify matters within 48 hours.
“In spite of his instructions no change is visible,” Harendra says. “Recently we conducted blood tests on all 48 athletes (of the men’s squad) and many food-related deficiencies were reported,” he added.
IOA president Narinder Batra alleged that the problem was widespread across all SAI Centres and sought prompt action.
SAI officials, when contacted, said the matter had already been taken cognizance of and action initiated on the complaints.
“We have initiated the process and all issues will be sorted out, with new infrastructure and a new chef in place within a week,” officials assured The Media.