`Sports Ministry should share blame in doping row`

New Delhi: Acting Indian Olympic Association President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that Sports Ministry should also share the blame for the doping scandal that rocked athletics, saying that the coaches and doctors allegedly involved in it are its employees.

"All the SAI centres are under the Ministry, all the coaches and doctors are under its rolls. So, the Ministry should also take some blame," Malhotra said, reacting to Sports Minister Ajay Maken`s sacking of Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogrodnik today following the dope scandal.

"The Sports Minister should not only point fingers at the federations, he should rather look into the SAI Centres. What is happening there and the coaches and doctors? " said Malhotra.

Asked if Maken was taking these steps to push through the controversial National Sports Development Bill, Malhotra said, "I don`t know if he is doing all these to push through the Bill. But if he is doing that it is unacceptable and condemnable."

Malhotra said if any Athletics Federation of India officials are found to be involved by the inquiry panel set up by the Ministry today, strong action would be taken against them.

"If someone from the federation are found to be involved, we will also take action," Malhotra told reporters.

Malhotra, however, refused to blame AFI Secretary Lalit Bhanot and lifetime president Suresh Kalmadi for the doping scandal.

"They have been in jail for some time. Holding them responsible would not be correct," he said.


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