Kolkata: Top squash player Dipika Pallikal on Tuesday asserted that clean up in sports is a must before India can stake its claim on becoming a sporting nation.
"As an athlete I would think it's very important to clean up sports in the country. Also there should be athletes in the federation because they know exactly what's going through in our minds," said Pallikal on the sidelines of a felicitation programme here.
"Also, we should have easy access to government funding," India's first ever Asian Games singles bronze medallist said.
The World No 16, who was the the first Indian break into the top 10 of the world rankings, further rued that the squash was not part of Olympics, something she was very hopeful of by 2020.
"Not just winning but to be a part of Olympics is something big. So when we lost out on the bid last year, we were very very frustrated, sad and angry.
Pallikal however said they have a ray of hope when the IOC chief brings in another discipline in a meeting in December for the 2020 Games.
"But we have a chance in December where the president of IOC is considering putting in another sport. We are working towards it, hopefully the picture will be clear by December," she said.
On her next target, the 23-year-old from Chennai said: "The world championship in Cairo next month is my next target. I've got a month to train for it then I'll be off to Egypt."