Asiad kabaddi medallist alleges bribery demand by Bihar sports official

first_imgSmita Kumari with CM Nitish Kumar after receiving her cash prize.Sullying further the already-blotted image of national sports administrators, an Asian Games gold medallist kabaddi player from Bihar has accused a state sports official of demanding his “commission” from her cash awards.Smita Kumari, a member of the gold medal-winning Indian women’s kabaddi team at the 2010 Asiad in China, has charged Bihar Kabaddi Association secretary Kumar Vijay with insisting that she give him Rs 10 lakh from her cash awards, totalling Rs 36 lakh.After bringing home the gold medal, Smita had received Rs 10 lakh from the President, Rs 15 lakh from the Railways and Rs 11 lakh from the Bihar government.Her coach Mukesh Kumar also accused Vijay of including his daughter and the wife of a male kabaddi player in the Bihar women’s team for the National Games in Jharkhand earlier this year.Claiming that Vijay favoured the two players so that they could land government jobs, coach Mukesh alleged that one of these two players was threemonths pregnant at the time of her selection and did not feature in a single match at the Games.The state government provides jobs to all players who win medals at national or international events, the coach said about Vijay’s strategy.He added that the Bihar kabaddi team ultimately won the bronze medal.Smita Kumari, popularly known as the ‘Golden girl’ of Bihar kabaddi said, “He had been demanding Rs 10 lakh from me ever since I won the cash awards following the Asian games win.advertisement”When I refused, he threatened to ruin my career. But I told him that I’d rather set up a kabaddi academy in Bihar than give him the money.” She added, “After this incident, I was removed as captain of the state’s team for the Veer Kuer Singh All-India Gold Cup Tournament in Patna last week.” Vijay had been harassing many other players but they were scared of speaking out against the powerful official, she claimed.Rubbishing her charges, however, Vijay threatened to drag the player to court. “Smita is levelling these baseless charges against me only because she has been dropped as the state team’s captain,” he said, He also added that an upset Smita had since been threatening to embarrass him.”Had I been harassing the players, Smita would not have been able to make a mark at the international level. The state’s team woudln’t have won so many gold medals,” he pointed out.Vijay claimed that rather than taking money from any player, he had often helped them financially. Smita, who had recently got married, stayed away from the mandatory practice sessions, he said.The player’s allegations have created ripples in the sports fraternity here, with several state team players coming out in open to support Kumar Vijay.last_img

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