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Hohn can’t hold the country to a ransom, says AFI president Sumariwalla | More sports News – Times of India

June 17, 2021

NEW DELHI: After India’s javelin coach Uwe Hohn slammed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) over the preparations or rather “lack of preparation” of the track and field stars for the upcoming Olympic Games, the AFI has come out all guns blazing against the 58-year-old German coach.
Hohn has reportedly alleged that he was being “blackmailed” by SAI and AFI into signing a contract that he wasn’t happy with. He was also critical of the AFI on “top athletes not getting international exposure and training abroad” in the lead-up to the Olympics.
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla spoke to TOI on Thursday and said: “His (Hohn) allegations are a total waste of time. This is complete nonsense and we need to focus on the Olympics.
“Whatever he said about blackmail over his contract is complete nonsense. He had a contract. There was a contract to be renewed and he asked for things that were unreasonable. So SAI and AFI’s position is ‘we can’t give it to you’. He didn’t sign the contract that we gave to him. You don’t sign the contract, you don’t get paid. He had the option: either to sign it or not sign it. He did not sign it, so he could go home. Nobody forced him to stay. So where is the question of blackmail?
“He tried to push the government. He can’t push the government. This is the government of India. He has been running a racket. All these guys think that we will succumb under their pressure. We don’t succumb to anybody’s pressure. You are dealing with a country, you aren’t dealing with any individual. He can’t hold the country to a ransom,” Sumariwalla said..
“Of late, his focus was also not on the Indian throwers. He wanted to go to South Africa. The reason to go to South Africa was because he wanted to train somebody in South Africa. We are paying him a ridiculous amount of money not to train other people. That’s what the athletes have also alleged. His frustration was that he couldn’t go,” he said.
Sumariwalla asserted that this controversy won’t affect the Olympic-bound javelin throwers of the country. “Neeraj (Chopra) is not training with him (Hohn). Neeraj left him in 2018. He is already in Portugal and is training with Dr Klaus Bartonietz, our biomechanics expert. Annu Rani and Shivpal (Singh) don’t want to train with him. The throwers have come up with their statements. It doesn’t affect anybody. So what value is he (Hohn) to us? Why should we increase his salary? He wanted a ridiculous increase in his salary, ridiculous bonuses. We can’t give that.”
Talking about another allegation wherein Hohn has stated that Indian athletes don’t get “quality” food supplements, Sumariwalla said, “The food supplements that he (Hohn) is talking about, if I can’t get a purity certificate from the vendor, I can’t expose my athletes. So I can’t give the athletes the supplements that he wants to give them.”

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