A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Wednesday
The participation of track and field athletes, S Sreeshankar and Siddharth Yadav at the Commonwealth Games remains doubtful as their names were sent after the deadline even as the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has requested the organisers to allow the duo to compete.
High jumper Yadav had crossed the qualifying mark set by the AFI while long jumper Sreeshankar had missed the qualification standard by a mere centimeter during the Federation Cup National Championships in Patiala but was named in the Indian athletics squad by the selection committee.
The Federation Cup was the qualifying event for Commonwealth Games selection but it was held from March 5-8 whereas the deadline for sending the final list of entries for each country was on March 7.
The AFI, however, said that it was not expecting the duo to reach the qualification standard and so did not include their names in the provisional list of athletes for their accreditation for the Games.
AFI Secretary C K Valson said the federation was hopeful of a positive outcome in the next two, three days.
"The accreditation process for the athletes had ended mid-December last year. We did not include the names of S Sreeshankar and Siddharth Yadav in the provisional list because we did not expect them to cross the qualifying mark," Valson told PTI.
"The deadline for sending the final list of entries was on March 7 but we made an immediate request to the organisers, the Commonwealth Games Federation. We have written letters to the organisers, the CGF as well as the technical delegates. If you ask me, I will say that we are hopeful of the two athletes being included in the Indian athletics team," he added.
Sreeshankar leapt 7.99m to win the gold in long jump while Yadav bagged a silver by clearing 2.25m.
CWG contingent: No free rides for officials and family members of athletes
Wary of controversy, the Sports ministry will not allow family members of any athlete to travel with the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games and will also put a stop to officials' "fun rides".
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has forwarded a list of 222 athletes and 106 officials, including 57 coaches, 19 managers and 41 others, for the Gold Coast event.
Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is yet to clear the list and it is learnt that ministry is reviewing the lost of 41 other officials.
“Ministry will take a decision on the contingent in a couple of days but we have been instructed to strictly review the number of officials while keeping the focus on players. Officials who won't be able to stay in the Games Village or enter the sporting arena. Why should we spend government money on them,” a source in the ministry told PTI Bhasha.
“We are examining the others category which include 41 officials and it is likely to be reduced by half. There have been complaints that officials go on free fun rides but it won't happen this time. We will try to ensure that the player – official ratio is maintained,” said the official.
“Why should family members of the athlete, no matter how big star the player is, will go on government expenses as mentor or manager. If they want them, they can take on their own expenses and I am sure they can afford this,” said the official.
The official also said that this does not mean that government is cutting down support to the athletes as ministry has sanctioned 10 extra coaches for different disciplines as requested by concerned federations.
“Some federations have asked us to accommodate coaches as their quota was full so we have sanctioned 10 such extra coaches who are essential for players. It include one in hockey, five in Boxing, one in Squash (female coach) and one in weightlifting. All expenses of these extra officials will be borne by the government,” said the official.
WADA says Russia making slow progress towards reinstatement
The head of the world anti-doping agency (WADA) complained on Wednesday of slow progress by Russian authorities towards making the country's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) compliant with international standards.
WADA president Craig Reedie told a conference that he was "encouraged by the significant progress" made by RUSADA but added it was still taking too long.
"We want to welcome and independent and efficient RUSADA back in from the cold... it's just a pity it is taking so long for Russian authorities to make it happen," he said.
Reedie said the slow progress was "despite a significant amount of work being carried out by WADA to persuade the Russian authorities to recognise and accept as true the systemic doping scheme as revealed by the McLaren report."
There was no immediate comment to Reedie's remarks by Russia which has repeatedly denied systemic doping.
RUSADA was declared non-compliant in 2015 after a report commissioned by WADA found widespread doping in the country's athletics.
Since then, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA have launched a string of investigations -- including one by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren -- to look into the issue which ballooned into the biggest doping scandal in years, engulfing many sports and said to involve more than 1,000 athletes.
After escaping a blanket ban from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Russia was barred from last month's Winter Games in Pyeongchang although more than 100 of the country's athletes were permitted to compete as neutrals.
"The big losers are Russia's own athletes... future participation of Russian athletes at major sporting events will continue to be put in doubt," said Reedie.
"If WADA cannot declare that Russia has a compliant national anti-doping agency, then the rest of the world will not be convinced that any meaningful change has taken place (and) the suspicion and doubt will continue."