India badminton stars PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal's parents have been left disappointed over reports claiming they will be traveling to Gold Coast as part of India's Commonwealth Games 2018 contingent.
Sindhu's mother Vijaya Pusarla and Saina's father Harvir Singh were added to Indian contingent as extra officials, according to a list available on Indian Olympic Association (IOA) official website.
Press Trust of India said Thursday, March 22 that reports had claimed the shuttlers' parents were going to Gold Coast City on the government's expense after their names featured on the Indian contingent list.
Notably, the Sports Ministry had reportedly trimmed down the list after reducing the count across disciplines, striking down the names of all 21 extra officials, including Vijaya and Harvir.
Sports Ministry, IOA not on the same page over 'extra officials'
IOA president Narinder Batra criticised the move Thursday and had even spoken to sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to clear the extra officials, according to the Times of India. He had claimed that the extra officials were sent by the respective federations and said he was not able to comprehend why the government was "making so much noise".
The sports ministry is of the view that it disburses funds to national sports federation through National Sports Development Fund and thus all "extra officials" would travel to Gold Coast using taxpayers' money.
'It hurts to see people spreading false news'
Sindhu's father PV Ramana said he was hurt by "false news" and that he had contacted the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to allow the shuttler's mother to accompany her to Gold Coast.
"I have traveled with Sindhu to many tournaments and always with my own money. This time also we had requested BAI to allow Vijaya to travel on [our] own money," Ramana was quoted as saying by PTI.
He added: "So it hurts to know that some people are spreading this false news."
Harvir insisted he will be traveling with Saina on his own and that he had stayed at a rented accommodation during Rio Olympics in 2016.
"I am going on my own. I know a professor at Gold Coast. So I will go to watch the Games as a spectator and I am not part of the contingent," Harvir said.
"Even when I went to Rio Games, I stayed in rented accommodation. So, I don't know where these reports are coming. It is unfortunate," he added.
Meanwhile, BAI secretary Anup Narang also echoed the comments of Ramana and Harvir saying: "It is [an] absolutely false report. There is no truth in it and I think it is unfair on these two shuttlers, who bring laurels to the country."
Rathore is expected to take a final call on the list Friday, March 23.