New Delhi: Beijing Olympics gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra today criticised the country`s sports administrators for pushing the athletes` interest in the background in the bitter campaign ahead of the controversy-marred IOA elections.
Bindra, who was taking part in an event in Munich, said he was shocked when some people told him that India could be disaffiliated by the IOC if the IOA elections are held under the government`s `Sports Code`.
"I did not know much what`s happening in India. But I was shocked to be told by somebody that India could be disaffiliated by the IOC. It was shameful to be in such a situation," said the shooter, who won a gold medal in the 10m air rifle event in 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"The athletes and not the officials will suffer if the country is suspended by the IOC. It seems that the interest of the athletes have been pushed to the last agenda in the scheme of things. It is very unfortunate," Bindra told NDTV from Munich.
Asked about corruption-tainted officials contesting the IOA elections, Bindra said, "We need to run sports professionally and there is absolute need of clean people in running sport. We have to focus on athletes, on how to get medals at world level and not this kind of things happening now.
"We have done well in the last two years but these happenings seemed that we are going backwards instead of moving ahead. I know (Abhay Singh) Chautala very well, he was Indian Boxing Federation chief and I hope he takes steps for the involvement of sportspersons in running sports in the country."