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Mon Apr 21 06:36:18 SAST 2014

India's Olympic team served 'rotten' food

Sapa-AFP | 05 June, 2012 10:490 Comments
Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat (in blue) practices with a colleague as her coach Monika Choudhary (R) watches inside the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports in Patiala in the northern Indian state of Punjab May 5, 2012
Image by: Ajay Verma / REUTERS

Indian sports officials have expressed shock at conditions in the Olympic training camp for the nation’s wrestlers, with rotten fruit being prepared in a dirty kitchen, a report said on Tuesday.

Former swimmer Khajan Singh, a member of the sports ministry’s monitoring panel, visited the camp at Sonepat, 45 kilometres north of New Delhi, where the wrestlers are training ahead of next month’s London Games.

“I was shocked to see rotten fruits used to make juice and unhygienic conditions in the kitchen,” Singh, a silver-medallist at the 1986 Asian Games, told the Hindustan Times.

“There is no dietitian or medical expert to oversee the quality of food being served.”

The wrestlers had not complained because they feared being thrown out of the camp, Singh explained.

Among the wrestlers training at the camp was Sushil Kumar, who won a bronze at the Beijing Olympics and is a rare medal prospect for the London Olympics, which begins on July 27.

With 1.2 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, India should be an emerging Olympic powerhouse but it achieved a meagre haul of just one gold and two bronzes at Beijing 2008.

Sports bosses set up an organisation called “Olympic Gold Quest” in 2001 to improve the nation’s record, but under-investment in facilities and coaching for athletes remains a severe problem.

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