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Athletes forced to leave stadium so IAS officer can walk with dog

New Delhi: Athletes and coaches at the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi complained that they were forced to leave the stadium by 7 pm so that a senior IAS officer can walk with his dog. The stadium is run by Delhi government. As per the athletes and coaches, they were forced to empty  the ground as Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) Sanjeev Khirwar walks his dog at the facility at around 7.30 pm.

‘We used to train till 8-8.30 pm under lights earlier. But now, we are asked to leave the ground by 7 pm so that the officer can walk his dog on the ground. Our training and practice routine has been disrupted’, said a coach.

Meanwhile, Sanjeev Khirwar refuted the allegation. He said that  the  allegation is  absolutely incorrect. But, he accepted that he sometimes takes his pet for a walk at the facility.

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Ajit Chaudhary, the Stadium administrator said that the official timing in the evening is 4-6 pm. But the stadium authorities allow athletes to train till 7 pm due to the heavy heat. He also said that he was not aware of any government official using the facilities after 7 pm. ‘We have to close by 7 pm. You can find the government office timings anywhere. This stadium is also a government office under the Delhi government. I am not aware of any such thing as an official using the facilities to walk his dog. I leave the stadium by 7 pm, and I am unaware’, said Ajit Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister  Arvind Kejriwal has ordered that all sports facilities in the state will remain open till 10 pm for athletes who want to train till late at night. He issued the order after the row regarding the Thyagraj Stadium.

Thyagraj Stadium  was built in 2010 for the  Commonwealth Games. It is a  multi-discipline facility that attracts national and state athletes, and footballers.


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