The entire country was embarrassed by the fiasco of our athletic performance in Japan.
Even before the games began, it would have been obvious that most of our athletes do not come up to even qualifying standards at the Olympics. General timings and speed of other athletes are well-known. But the Olympic officials made a song and dance about our Olympics prospects and went to Japan in droves. They travelled business class, stayed at posh hotels, received a daily allowance and had a good time, all paid for by the local Olympic organisation. Our Government gives the Sri Lankan Olympic organisation an annual grant. Other countries did not have that many officials per athlete.
In addition to the Olympics, these officials also get a good monthly pay and also do many foreign tours every year, all at the expense of sports-loving people. The office also helps them to do outside business and deals.
The Olympic organisation in Sri Lanka is just like our Cricket Board. Just because there are elections annually, you cannot say it is democratic. The representatives of various clubs and associations can be bribed easily. Even these representatives are in the same business, of having a good time with other people’s money.
The local Olympic organisation and the Cricket Board are controlled by shadowy businessmen who really cannot explain their wealth. They are mostly commission agents, wheeler dealers and racketeers. Their education standard is very low, only very few have passed even the O/L exam. The fact that some of these officials have been holding positions in sports bodies for decades shows that this is the only way these dubious persons can gain social recognition and status.
It is time there was a Presidential Commission to inquire into the running of the pathetic Olympic Organisation of Sri Lanka.