Former sprint queen and multiple Asian Games gold medallist P T Usha broke down and said that she felt humiliated after Sports Authority of India (SAI) allegedly denied her proper accommodation for the National Open Athletics Championships. The 49-year-old arrived in Bhopal on Monday with her wards,who are taking part in the four-day event that started on Tuesday. However,she was reportedly made to wait for about an hour at the airport before being taken to a SAI hostel room which was arranged for her stay. Usha said she tried to contact SAI officials but they were busy attending to Sports Minister MS Gill,who was in the city to inaugurate a SAI facility.
An upset Usha moved into a hotel,hastily booked by her husband,in a busy commercial locality. It was only late in the night,when a local television channel showed her in tears,that the authorities moved into action. I felt insulted, Usha was quoted as saying. In the early hours on Tuesday,she was shifted to a posh hotel at Shyamla Hills,not far from the chief ministers residence.
She was not ready to move and we had to plead with her, secretary of Madhya Pradesh Amateur Athletics Association Mumtaz Khan told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile,after the fiasco,the blame game started. The state government said Usha was invited by SAI which,in turn,said it had no prior information about her arrival.
Sports Minister Gill said he was surprised that Usha had blamed SAI. I have a special place for PT Usha. What I learn now is that she has come for the national athletics organised by the state government. The minister came on TV to apologise. If there was any drawback,it was on their part for whatever happened last night, Gill said.
By Tuesday evening,Usha was in a conciliatory mood. I have put it behind me, she said,adding that she was keen to watch the performance of her athletes. Meanwhile an inquiry has been ordered into the incident by the MP government.