Athletic Federation Relentless; Chitra Still Out of Team

Kochi: Despite the High Court’s verdict that Kerala athlete P.U. Chitra should be included in the Indian team for the World Athletic Championship, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has not yet initiated any steps. The Central Sports Ministry also demanded for her inclusion in the team that had already left for the Championship to be held in London from August 5 to 13.

The AFI President said that the HC had ruled in favour of Chitra without hearing their part. He said that the Federation will give an explanation to the HC on Monday. Meanwhile, the President informed that since the time period has been over, Chitra can’t be included in the team.

The Kerala runner won the 1,500m at the July Asian athletics meet in Bhubaneswar at 4 minutes 17 seconds, and was second in the inter-state meet clocking around 4:28. The entry standard for the August 4-13 London meet is 4:07.

Earlier, delivering the interim order, Justice PB Suresh Kumar, observed that the selection procedure was not transparent and questioned the presence of many officials in the squad. The court has asked the union sports ministry and AFI to submit details of the selection procedure. The case will be taken up on Monday for detailed hearing.

Meanwhile, former sprinter PT Usha faced heavy social media criticisms for her media comments that Chitra had not performed to the standard required.

On Friday, she said with the AFI president, Adille Sumariwalla in the IAAF executive panel and CK Valson in its technical committee, they can request the world body president, Sebastian Coe, for Chitra’s inclusion.