Honour court's directive on Chitra: Vijay Goel to AFI
Sports minister Vijay Goel asked the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to honour Kerala High Court's directive to include Asia's 1500 metre gold medallist PU Chitra in India's squad for next month's World Athletics Championships in London. According to the sports ministry, Goel asked AFI to not contest the court's directive and include her in the team as a wild-card entry.
Gold medallist of the women's 1500m event in the Asian Athletics Championships, Kerala's PU Chitra was excluded from the Indian contingent going to the World Athletics Championships in London next month. Following this, she moved to state's High Court on 26th July, questioning the decision of Athletics Federation of India. However, the deadline to submit entries for World Championships was only till 24th July.
AFI secretary CK Valson said that PU Chitra was dropped from the team after her performance dipped and she could not pass IAAF's qualifying mark. Her performance dropped by six seconds in the Asian championships and went further below during National Athletics tournament in Guntur.
Responding to Kerala High Court's order to include PU Chitra in Indian squad for the World Athletics Championships, the Athletics Federation of India has said that they are yet to reply to the court in the matter. AFI president Adille Sumariwalla said that their lawyers will present their side of the story on Monday and matter will be dealt accordingly.
An AFI official told media that PU Chitra's inclusion in the team is not possible now. He said, "The entry of the participating athletes is closed and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will not agree to any new inclusion from any country."