The Ministry of Sports has approved and granted money to all sports bodies that will be participating at the South Asian Federation Games to be held in India from February 5 to 15.

Director General K.D.S. Ruwanchandra said that these monies were given for development activities in preparation for the Games which is only one month away.

“The ministry is paying for all the needs of the sports bodies that are preparing the athletes. We are paying for their nutrition, accommodation when they are in residential training, coaches and the purchasing of equipment,” said Ruwanchandra.

However, a source in the Cycling Federation said that they received Rs. 5 million from the ministry just one month ago and the time is insufficient to prepare the cyclists for the Games. The Federation is sending 16 riders to India. This is the highest number of cyclists going abroad for competition in the history of the sport.

The source, who requested anonymity for obvious reasons, said that the person in charge of planning the development projects is a misfit and is irregular in his dealings.

The Association wants to purchase four time trial bicycles and 16 components, but no proper tender procedures have been followed. This official has only called for quotations from five people and has left out some dealers who are registered with the association. Each of these time trial cycles will cost approximately Rs. 400,000/= which is of good quality.

The source said that India began preparing for this event two years ago and look set to dominate the sport. Whereas Sri Lanka began planning only one month ago amounts to poor planning for any sport in the country. This maybe the reason why Sri Lanka has not won medals of late!