Yogeshwar leads athletes war cry as Haryana seeks share in pro income

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is furious over a Haryana Government diktat, which the Olympic medallist says will lead to sportspersons’ exodus from the State. He has decided to take heads on, on Ashok Khemka, Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Government of Haryana. - InsideSport

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is furious over a Haryana Government diktat, which the Olympic medallist says will lead to sportspersons’ exodus from the State. He has decided to take heads on, on Ashok Khemka, Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Government of Haryana.

Yogeshwar is leading the war cry of the athletes from the State against the Notice issued by Khemka’s office. The order makes it mandatory for the athletes employed with the Haryana government to share their one-third revenue from endorsements and professional fee with the State.

The order issued by Khemka’s office reads: “The Government of Haryana is pleased to notify the following conditions governing the participation of sportspersons in professional sports or commercial endorsements and employed in any department of the State Government or any body controlled by the State:

“The sportspersons shall be accorded extraordinary leave (without pay) during the said period. One-third income earned by the sportspersons from professional sports or commercial endorsements will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council. The money shall be used for the development of sports in the State.

“In case the sportsperson is treated on duty with the prior approval of the competent authority while taking part in professional sports or commercial endorsements, the full income earned by the sportsperson on this account will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council.”

Yogeshwar, an officer with the Haryana State Police department, has posted a strongly worded tweet on his official twitter handle @duttyogi. “Only the god can save us from such an officer. Ever since taking his position in the department has been passing these illogical orders. You have a zero contribution in sports promotion, but I can guarantee that you are succeeding 100% in destroying it. You will be responsible for players’ exodus from the State,” Yogeshwar has tweeted the message in Hindi language.

Two more Olympian medal winner wrestlers have joined Yogeshwar in protest. “Does the government even realize how much of hard work a sportsperson puts in? How can they ask for one-third of the income? I do not support this at all. Government should’ve at least discussed it with us,” wrestler Babita Phogat has told news agency ANI.

“This policy should be reviewed. The government should establish a committee of senior sportspersons and take their input before forming a policy of this type. This will affect the morale of sportspersons and might affect their performance as well,” wrestler Sushil Kumar said.

Haryana government and the State Athletes were also at loggerheads earlier this year. The State had then cancelled the felicitation and awards ceremony over protests by some of the top athletes.

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