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Haryana tells athletes it employs to pay up 33% of income from ads, professional sports

Chandigarh, June 8: Sports persons employed by the Haryana government will have to give the state 33% of the income earned through professional sports and commercial endorsements, for the development of sports.

As per the new rules, which came into effect on April 27, such sports persons will have to seek extraordinary leave (without pay) during the period of participation in professional sports.

Olympic medal winning pugilist, Vijender Singh, hockey player, Sardara Singh and wrestler, Geeta Phogat are likely to be affected by the decision.

Principal secretary, sports and youth affairs, Ashok Khemka said in case such sportspersons are treated on duty (not on leave; with the prior approval of competent authority) when they take part in professional sports or commercial endorsement, the full income earned by them on this account will have to be paid.

Vijender, who is also a Haryana police officer, turned professional in 2015 while Sardara played the India Hockey League (IHL) and Geeta Phogat has done endorsements for JSW steel.

While Vijender and Sardara could not be reached immediately, wrestler Geeta Phogat said she did not agree with these conditions.

“We have to work so hard to excel at international level. Besides, a lot of monetary investment has to be made by our families in our training, practice, diet, equipment. Players do not get the required financial support from the government when they are in their early years and not yet stars. So, what’s wrong if they earn through commercial endorsements after earning a name worldwide. My suggestion is that the government should not come out with such conditions,” Phogat, a Haryana police officer said.

Two-time Olympic medal winning wrestler, Sushil Kumar has urged the government to review the policy.

“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,” he told ANI.

Geeta’s sister, Babita Phogat also expressed her disappointment with the rule.

“I am saddened by notification. It seems as if illiterate people are making policies. Do they not know that we’re already paying taxes on money we win in competitions? If this is how things are going to work the medal count will go down,” Babita told ANI.

The money got through such sportspersons would be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council and used for the development of sports in the state, said an April 27 notification issued by Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs department.

DGP B S Sandhu said the new conditions will be applicable from a prospective date (after April 27, 2018). “The Inspector General, Haryana Armed Police, has communicated the new conditions to all sportspersons employed in the state police,” he said.

Source Hindustan Times

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