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Rio organisers warn Vijay Goel not to flout accreditation norms

Miffed with Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s entourage, Rio Olympic organisers have threatened to cancel his accreditation if unaccredited people accompanying him do not end their “aggressive and rude” behaviour.

Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C) Vijay Goel greets Indian Boxer Manoj Kumar at Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. Boxing Coach Shri G.S. Sandhu is also seen. — Photo: PTI

“We have had multiple reports of your Minister for Sports trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals. When the staff try to explain that this is not allowed, […] the people with the Minister […] become aggressive and rude and sometimes push past our staff,” Sarah Peterson, who is Continental Manager for Rio 2016 Organising Committee, said in a letter to Indian Chef-de-Mission Rakesh Gupta.

Goel is here to cheer for the Indian contingent besides monitoring their requirements at the Games Village.

“As you can understand, this type of behaviour is not acceptable. Despite previous warnings, it would seem that even today the same incident occurred at the Rio Olympic Arena (Gymnastics venue) and Carioca Arena 3,” she added.

Peterson said the Minister’s accreditation could be cancelled because of this.

“Should our protocol team be made aware of further examples of this type of behaviour, the accreditation of your Minister for Sports will be cancelled and his privileges at the Olympic Games withdrawn. We trust you will pass on this message urgently,” she said.

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