Race walker Gurmeet Singh, who has participated in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was part of the recent Tokyo Olympics as a coach, has alleged that the Uttarakhand government has only given him half of the promised prize money for his achievements.

Having coached race walking stars — Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar — and eventually booking their place in the Tokyo Olympics, the former Olympian said, “I should have got Rs 11 lakh by 2016-17 but the government hasn’t given me the entire amount to date. I have only got half the amount.”

The Bajpur resident claimed that according to the state’s sports policy framed in 2014, he should have got Rs 10 lakh for winning a gold medal in the 20km race walk event at the Asian Race Walking Championship held in March 2016 in Japan and another Rs 1 lakh for participating in the World Championship in May 2016 in Italy.

“Government paid me as per the 2016 prize money policy, whereas I should have got the promised cash prize as per the 2014 policy,” Singh said, contending that since the new policy came into effect in December 2016, a few months after his wins, he should be given prize money as per the old policy. The new policy halved the entitlement of prize money laid down in the 2014 policy.

Refuting the former Olympian’s accusations, a state government official cited a government order issued in December 2016 which said that ”all previous orders regarding the prize money amount are cancelled and the athletes who are yet to get any prize money, even for the events that took place before December 2016, will be paid as per the amount mentioned in the order issued in December 2016 for the implementation of the amended sports policy.” (TOI)