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Rio Olympic Committee threatens to cancel India sports minister Vijay Goel's accreditation
August 12, 2016, 10:50 am
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Rio Olympics organisers have accused union sports minister Vijay Goel of trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals

Organisers at the Rio Olympics have threatened to cancel the accreditation of sports minister Vijay Goel and withdraw privileges offered to him if he does not effect an urgent correction in the behaviour of aides who have accompanied him.

"We have had multiple reports of your Minister for Sports trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals. When the staff try to explain that this is not allowed, they report that the people with the Minister have become aggressive and rude and sometimes push past our staff," an official Sarah Patterson said in a letter to India's Chef de Mission Rakesh Gupta.

She said repeated warnings have been ignored and any more violation will lead to action against the minister. 

Vijay Goel has denied violating rules, pointing out that, "The allegations are against my staff and not me. I will look into which staff is responsible." 

He has an all-access pass, he told NDTV and emphasised, "I haven't crossed the line be it in boxing, hockey or any other sport that I attended."

Mr Goel, who took charge last month, is in Rio to cheer for Indian contingent and to ensure that their requirements are met at the Games village. His wife has accompanied him at events, where the minister has been spotted clicking selfies with Indian athletes. 

When boxer Manoj Kumar won a bout/match, Mr Goel whipped out his phone and was clicking a selfie even before the sportsman had spoken to the media or completed the mandatory dope test. 

Chef de mission Rakesh Gupta has said it is "unfortunate that a non issue is being made an issue without any reason." He referred to an incident when the minister was invited to interact with players after a hockey match and walked on to the field, a restricted area. 

"He went down to the field of play inadvertently and not knowing that he needed a field of play special pass. However, the moment it was brought to his notice he left the field and met with the players outside," Mr Gupta said, adding that the next time, the minister took care to get a special pass to meet players. 

Source: NDTV

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