Goel denies reports of OC threat to cancel his accreditation

 Rio de Janeiro :  Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel today denied the allegations of Olympic Organising Committee (OC) that he was threatened by the Rio Olympic Games to cancel his accreditation. "It is all rubbish," a visibly angry Mr Goel told mediapersons who wanted to check the authenticity of the report. The reason given for alleged threat was that the minister was seen moving with unaccredited people to the accredited areas. According to the reports, the alleged IOC letter was in response to the fact that besides not having accreditation to enter the areas where those with accreditation are allowed, the people with Mr Goel have been ‘aggressive and rude’.

Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas was at pain to explain to mediapersons that no such thing has happened and said,"Why you people want to create an issue out of a non-issue. No such thing has happened. There is no letter received by us. " The alleged letter sent by Rio OC to the Indian Chef-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta notified him of the incidence and their decision to cancel Mr Goel’s accreditation if such incidence is reported from any venue in the coming days. “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 our staff,” Sarah Peterson, Continental Manager for Rio 2016 Organising Committee, said in a letter to the Indian Chef-de-Mission.

The minister has been around in Rio since the Games opened and has been monitoring Indian contingent’s requirements at the Games Village. “As you can understand, this type of behaviour is not acceptable. Despite previous warnings, it would seem that even today the same incident occurred at the Rio Olympic Arena (Gymnastics venue) and Carioca Arena 3,” Peterson said of people travelling with Mr Goel pushing the security staff when stopped for not having accreditation. Peterson said the Minister’s accreditation could be cancelled because of this. “Should our protocol team be made aware of further examples of this type of behaviour, the accreditation of your Minister for Sports will be cancelled and his privileges at the Olympic Games withdrawn. We trust you will pass on this message urgently,” she said.

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