In the backdrop of Rio Olympics and people still speaking high of our medal winners, Pullela Gopichand, the Dronacharya awardee of 2016 talks about the various value-additions required to make Indian sporting federations compliant with global standards.
Pullela Gopichand’s strongest statement on the entire issue of the performance of Indian athletes at the Rio Olympics is – roles, responsibilities and punishments have to be defined to make the system accountable.
To our question if Indian sports are compliant to world norms and what are the areas that we need to work on – Gopichand says it is heartening that the administrators have started taking sports seriously now. He thinks that an ecosystem with respect to Indian conditions needs to evolve before we bring in best practices of the world to Indian Sports. Having played an vital role in to make Indian badminton among the top in the world, we wanted to know the best practices Gopichand followed to remain on par with global standards and practices. He says that he has focused to work around obstacles and bring in several players from the backlogs of the Indian system.
Laws, ethics and transparency seem to be missing from Indian sports and there is an increasing need to inculcate these aspects in the system. On this, he pointed out that it is important to define roles, responsibilities and punishments first in order to get a structure in place. However, he is of the view that democracy does not work in the world of sports. This was clear from his stance on the independence of BCCI and that its funds should not be shared with other sports. Basic norms, levels of transparency and governance should be in place but most importantly, policies are to be athlete-centric.