Panaji: Politicians and people with money have captured sports associations in India and this was harming sports, India's star athlete of yesteryears Milkha Singh said here Tuesday.
Singh was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the unveiling of the mascot for the Lusofonia Games in Panaji.
"Politicians and people with money have captured sports associations. That is why there is no progress," said Singh, who is often referred to as the "Flying Sikh", a tribute to his athletic capabilities.
Singh's comment comes less than a week after the Supreme Court expressed concern that politicians and businessmen were heading various sports associations in India.
A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices T.S. Thakur and J. Chelameshwar had said on Dec 5: "It is a sad commentary that people who are administrators of the game have nothing to do with sports and they run the bodies at the cost of the game.
"Sports are run by private individual persons. Private individuals are controlling the games in India. Can the game be held hostage by private interest?" the bench said.
Singh further said that if he decides to contest elections in a sports administration association in the current clime, he would not secure more than two votes.
The athlete, who inspired the Bollywood biopic "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" also said that while the Supreme Court had expressed a need for change, unless the voting system in elections to sports associations was changed, there was no hope.
"The voting system of appointment of officials will ensure that genuine parties could well be denied a seat. For instance, were I to stand for these elections, I doubt I would secure beyond two votes," Singh said.