Dutee Chand | Commons
Dutee Chand | Commons
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New Delhi: After her announcement that she wanted to sell her BMW caused a furore about the financial condition of Indian athletes, ace sprinter Dutee Chand Wednesday clarified that she merely wants to sell her car due to its high maintenance costs, adding that it could give her finances a bit of “breathing space”.

The Asian Games silver medallist had last week posted photos of her luxury car on Facebook, stating that she was keen to sell it and anyone interested in buying it could contact her on Facebook Messenger.

Her post, which she later deleted, stirred up a big controversy, with former tennis player Somdev Devvarman sharing a news report about her post on his Twitter page. He commented: “When our athletes win, it’s almost always despite the system, not because of it.”

Director of JSW Sports, Parth Jindal, however rubbished Devvarman’s view. “Complete nonsense — we have offered to support her so many times at IIS. The offer is still wide open,” he wrote.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also reacted to a post by author Kiran Manral. “I agree 100%. But in this case I already had discussion with Dutee Chand and she is fine. She’ll let me know if she needs additional help. Inaccurate reportings can create wrong impressions about our genuine efforts,” Rijiju tweeted.

In her statement Wednesday, Dutee Chand clarified that she isn’t selling her car to fund her training for the Tokyo Olympics next year. “I took to social media to sell my car BMW. I don’t have the resources to maintain luxury cars, though I love them. I never expressed that I am selling it to fund my training,” she wrote in a post that she shared on Twitter.

“Odisha government and my own KIIT University have always supported me. This does not deny the fact that my training is very expensive, especially for the 2021 Olympics,” she said.

“I just wanted to make a point that this money could be diverted to my training and a car can be bought post Covid once I receive the money from the state government,” the sprinter clarified.

“I just did not want to be a burden on KIIT or Odisha Government. Not that I live in deprivation or lack of resources, but selling the car could give me breathing space on one hand and not burden the overwhelmed KIIT and Odisha Government who are all stretched to help in these testing times,” she said, wondering why her decision was being misinterpreted as a lack of support from authorities.

“But just on humanitarian ground, can’t I do something myself? Why is my willingness to be self reliant questioned? It is just a confusion created by the media, misinterpreting use of my language (definitely I admit, it is not my forte),” she wrote.

Earlier, Times Now had reported that the runner’s decision to sell the car was made in order to finance her Olympics training due to lack of funds.

Rediff.com had also reported that she told an interviewer, “It was a difficult decision for me to put up that post… Had there been an Olympics, I would have been all set, but, as the Games have been postponed by a year, I am unable to support myself.”

Also read: No knowledge of sports in Parliament, everyone just wants gold medals, says Rijiju


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