New Delhi: India's physically challenged powerlifter Farman Basha Thursday lashed out against the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for using the free facilities meant for athletes and their support staff during the ongoing Paralympic Games in London.
Basha in a letter said his wife Antonia, who was his legal escort, and personal coach Sadanand Malashetti were not allowed to enter the Games Village despite having a permit.
"My wife, Antonia sold her jewellery so I could represent India at the Games. She was also supposed to help me get my way around events. She's my soulmate and I owe my success to her.
"Sadly, today she has been stranded outside the Games Village, because PCI members are using the free facilities meant for athletes and their support staff," he said.
"Even my coach, Sadanand Malashetti, who has trained me for years now, couldn't access the Games Village even though his name was in the list of attendees provided by the Indian government. The actions of the PCI members have humiliated me and my fellow athletes," Farman added.
Basha said the absence of his wife and his coach affected his performance.
"Prior to the event, I was lifting 170 kg in the 48kg class. When I was informed that my coach and wife would not be allowed to enter the Games Village my performance was badly affected and I couldn't even lift 148 kgs.
"Overcoming these difficulties, after a lot of hard-work and under emotional trauma, I managed to get 5th place in the powerlifting event. After the event when I asked for a pass for my wife who is legally my escort, I was denied the pass since the PCI wanted to punish me for complaining against them," he said.
Basha also asked sports minister Ajay Maken take strict action against PCI for their conduct and derecognise the body.