Two-time Olympian Manoj Kumar has come out in the open and fired Sports Authority of India (SAI) of not providing financial assistance for treatment of an injury. In a letter to sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the two-time Commonwealth Games medallist’s coach and elder brother Rajesh Rajound requested that steps be taken in order to receive immediate treatment.
Manoj mentioned, “After assuring us for months, SAI told us at the last moment that we can’t help you because your name is not in the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) list or in the ongoing national camp. The sports minister knows about the issue. The administrators kept saying ‘you can do your rehabilitation as part of the camp. Then in the last moment I’m learning from somewhere else that I am neither in the camp or under the TOPS now, so I can’t be helped.”
Manoj, who has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left hip joint, says the injury first cropped up at the Asian Games at Jakarta, indonesia in August-September 2018. “In the first fight, my opponent hit me below the belt. It’s normal in boxing, but next day I felt it again in the second fight,” says Manoj, who lost in the second round in Jakarta. “After we came back, we discussed this issue. Then I was under TOPS, so my diagnosis was done at Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital late September, and the total expenditure was Rs 5,30,400.”
In the letter dated February 4, 2019, Rajound alleged that there “is a political game plan afoot, to keep (Manoj) away from the games. Even after sending in all the medical reports, I have yet to get any concrete reply from the concerned officials. After this, we requested the SAI and the Top Scheme officials, to grant us the services of a personal physio at the national camp. But the concerned officials ignored even this plea of ours. Manoj himself approached several officials in the sports ministry and SAl, but all to no avail.”
Responding, an anonymous SAI official was found claiming, “he repeatedly hid his injuries and wanted to be part of the national camp." To this, Manoj replied, “Which boxer doesn’t have injuries? Injury is part of the game, but it was at the Asian Games that I really felt this problem.”
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega