Sports Minister to probe NOC London trip
The Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee Maxwell de Silva rejected the accusation of the Lankan contingent is without any coaches for their athletic contingent. De Silva explaining matters to the Sunday Times said “The Lankan contingent had only two qualified athletes for the 2012 London Olympics. First, Niluka Karunaratne the team captain who qualified, clearly wanted his manager Rohan de Silva with him and the slot of Niluka’s coach went to him. The other qualified athlete is the Marathon runner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray. Cooray who had his pre-Olympic training in England will have his British coach Nick Taylor with him on the 12th and they are working together even now.”
The NOC Secretary General further explained that all coaching slots had to be nominated to the IOC by March and at that juncture none of the other athletes had qualified, and as they were ‘wild cards’ and were accredited at the latter stages the time slot for their coaches had lapsed.
Maxwell de Silva also said that though there is an accusation that none of the newly appointed AAASL members made the trip to London Real Admiral Shemal Fernando who is the manager of Athletics and Rifle Shooting is the secretary of the newly elected Amateur Athletic association of Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Sports on Thursday (2) responded to media reports, which said the number of officials who accompanied the athletes to the London Olympics exceeded the participants, by calling the information incorrect and imprecise.
“Local media reported that 30 officials are on tour in London to accompany the seven athletes who are taking part. However the Ministry of Sports vehemently denies that as incomplete and false,” a media communiqué issued by the Ministry of Sports said.It further stated that only ten officials were part of the whole contingent – one each from the Ministry of Sports, Department of Sports Development and the National Sports Medicine Unit and the seven managers of athletes.
The Ministry of Sports revealed that names of Deva Henry as Chef de Mission of the athletic contingent and as managers the National Olympic Committee (NOC) has appointed Nishantha Piyasena, Rohan de Silva, Shemal Fernando and Samantha Wickremasinghe.
Representing the local NOC, its President Hemasiri Fernando and Secretary Maxwell de Silva have joined the touring party.
“Apart from the said officials Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Director General of Department of Sports Development Ranjani Jayakodi and Director General of National Sports Medicine Unit Dr. Arjuna de Silva participated,” the statement added. However, it is understood that altogether 73 people have applied for 2012 Olympic accreditation through the Sri Lankan NOC.
Meanwhile reports reaching from Colombo say that the Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage has stated that he approved the names of seven officials to make the trip to London at the request of the NOC. Now as there are allegations of people who have made the trip to London without his approval, he intends appointing a committee to probe into the matter.
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