NSC lift Bista's suspension

KATHMANDU: The National Sports Council (NSC) today lifted the one-year ban imposed on record-setting four-time South Asian Games taekwondo gold medallist Deepak Bista.

The NSC member secretary Hari Babu Chaudhary said Bista “confessed his mistakes and expressed ignorance over the Chef-de-mission provision in his clarification letter” on Sunday. “As the player has accepted his mistakes, we decided to overturn our decision of imposing the ban,” said Chaudhary, at a press meet today.

The sports governing body had banned Bista from taking part in any tournament accusing the player of breaching the rules by accepting the first Youth Olympic Games Chef-de-mission position offered to him by the Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC).

The NSC announced the suspension the same day Bista left for Singapore to participate in the Chef-de-mission seminar. The same day Nepal Taekwondo Association also suspended the player from their central committee and formed a committee to investigate into the matter.

The NSC also formed a three-member probe committee under NSC member Min Krishna Maharjan to find out the truths behind Bista’s participation in the seminar in Singapore. “We have formed a probe committee to find out the hands behind the incident that led Bista to go against the rules and accept the role of Chef-de-mission,” said Chaudhary. The committee also includes NSC members Samim Miya Ansari and Lal Kumar Lama.

However, the player’s suspension from the Nepal Taekwondo Association (NTA) central committee member remains the same. The NTA suspended Bista accusing him of going against the spirit of the association by accepting the role offered by the NOC at the time when whole of the taekwondo was in agitation against the NOC.

The NTA is still in a kind of war against the NOC and they have formed a struggle committee. The NTA have been saying that the NOC did not release the funds for Nepali taekwondo players to compete in the Youth Olympics qualifying tournament in Mexico that was held from March 3-9. The struggle committee has warned the NOC of severe consequences if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, the NSC member secretary assured of Nepal’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games slated for August in Singapore.

Lions fete emotional taekwondo ace

KATHMANDU: In an emotional ceremony, the Lions Club of Kathmandu Horizon feted the four-time South Asian Games gold medallist Deepak Bista with a cash reward of Rs 523,471 here today.

The club handed over the amount raised from 95 tourism entrepreneurs and a contribution from their own. Bista’s felicitation came in the wake of his one-year ban imposed by the National Sports Council (NSC). The NSC was due to lift the ban in the evening, but, unaware of the NSC’s renewing decision, Bista had no reason to cheer up during the programme.

Unconcerned with the programme, Bista rather pleaded innocence on his selection as Chef-de-mission for the Youth Olympic Games and said he spent the most torturous three days of his life in Singapore. “I am no one’s property and I don’t serve for any particular person or group. I accepted the duty as it came to me as an honour. When I returned back, I faced criticism from sports authorities. I want to make it clear that I still want to play for the country,” said an emotional Bista, who was left crying after the speech.

Constituent Assembly member Gagan Thapa also expressed solidarity. “The whole nation is indebted to Bista. It is now important for all the players to unite against the dirty sports politics,” said Thapa. He also urged Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to intervene in the case and save a genuine player. “It’s high time for the PM to come forward and save the player as a body under his administration is humiliating the player whom he honoured earlier,” he said.

All Nepal Football Association president Ganesh Thapa suggested the sports authorities to take back their decision as soon as possible. “It’s really unfair to take action against him (Bista). Bista is not the one who should be punished. It’s them who punished Bista should be penalised first,” he said.