In a social media post, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand on Wednesday clarified regarding selling her car BMW car to fund for her olympics preparations.
Dutee Chand had earlier posted on social media regarding selling her BMW car. However, some media networks reported that the decision by the Indian athlete to sell her car was lack of funds for her training. The post also created a controversy highlighting the lack of state-support to the Indian star athletes, who have been finding their own ways to fund their training.
However, she later deleted the post, after most media portals reported the car sale as a sign of state apathy for a star athlete.
Following the controversy, Dutee Chand on Wednesday again took to Twitter to clarify that she had never expressed that she was selling the car to fund her training but was looking to sell the car as she did not “have the resources to maintain luxury cars” and felt that it is a “spendthrift expense” on her part. Speaking to The Hindu, Dutee had stated that she doesn’t have a proper parking slot for the car and she has two more cars in her house.
Odisha government and KIIT University fund Dutee’s training
“I never expressed that I am selling it to fund my training. Odisha Government and my own KIIT University have always supported me. This does not deny the fact that my training is very expensive, especially for the 2021 Olympics. I wanted to make a point that this money could be diverted for my training,” her statement read.
Statement. pic.twitter.com/AHEP3q50Ds— Dutee Chand (@DuteeChand) July 15, 2020
“Odisha government and my own KIIT University have always supported me. This does not deny the fact that my training is very expensive, especially for the 2021 Olympics,” Dutee said in a statement on her Twitter account, adding: “I just wanted to make a point that this money could be diverted for my training and a car can be bought post covid once I receive the money from the state government,” the post read.
Further, in her statement, Dutee Chand said, “My salary from OMC is Rs 60000, not 80000. I am not complaining. Buying a car can definitely wait. KIIT University, my alma mater, has stood with me in all my difficulties. I just did not want to be a burden on KIIT or Odisha Government. Not that I live in deprivation or lack of resources, but selling the car could give me breathing space on one hand and not burden the overwhelmed KIIT and Odisha Government who are all stretched to help in these testing times.
Sports Minister holds a discussion with Dutee Chand
Earlier, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also said that he already had a discussion with the athlete and that she is ‘fine’. He also said that inaccurate reporting can create ‘wrong impressions’.
“I agree 100%. But in this case I already had discussion with Dutee Chand and she is fine. She’ll let me know if she needs additional help. Inaccurate reportings can create wrong impressions about our genuine efforts,” wrote Rijiju.
Parth Jindal says IIS had offered support to Dutee many times, and the offer is still open
The news item of Dutee selling her car was shared widely by many people who had criticised the lack of government funding for sportspersons. It was presented in a way that conveyed that Dutee is forced to sell her car because of poverty. Replying to Somdev Devburman’s tweet, JSW’s Parth Jindal, whose Indian Institute of Sports supports mant athletes, had clarified that the IIS had offered support to Dutee many times, clarifying that the ‘lack of funds for training’ part of the claim is untrue.
Complete nonsense – we have offered to support her so many times at IIS. The offer is still wide open— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) July 15, 2020
In September 2018, following her 2 silver medals in the Asian Games in Jakarta, the Odisha government had felicitated Dutee Chand with a cash award of Rs 3 crores.