IOA, HI urge SAI to improve food quality, hygiene
New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Hockey India (HI) on Monday wrote to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) after the national men's hockey team chief coach Harendra Singh complained about the quality of food and the hygiene level at the SAI centre in Bengaluru.
Harendra, on Saturday wrote to HI, saying that blood tests have revealed that most of the players have food related deficiencies which affects their performance at the optimum level ahead of the FIH Champions Trophy, Asian Games and FIH World Cup.
"I would like to bring to your kind notice food quality at Bangalore SAI centre has been consistently well below par with a professional unit -- excessive oil and fat throughout and bones with lack of meats. Moreover, insects, bugs and hair were found in food of some of our players and staff.
"I would also like to inform you that hygiene part also to been neglected. The kitchen utensil which are used to prepare the food are unhealthy," he added.
"During one of the (national) camps before the Commonwealth Games, Sports Minister (Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore) visited the camps gave instructions to competent (authorities) that within 48 hours these issues must be addressed. But in spite of Minister's instruction no change is visible."
When Rathore visited the camp in Bengaluru before CWG in April, former international Harendra was in charge of the women's team.
The IOA President has urged the SAI Director General Neelam Kapur to address the issues.
"I humbly request SAI to kindly take care of food quality, hygiene, cleanness etc at SAI centre Bengaluru in interest of health and performance of elite athletes. If we expect elite athletes to perform at their best, then we also need to provide them with the best.
"Kindly give time to discuss on these issues since it is a problem across all centres of SAI."