Taekwondo is my life: Bista

KATHMANDU: Taekwondo ace Deepak Bista said he would always remain a part of Nepali taekwondo family and does not belong to any particular person or group.

“I am a taekwondo player and people know me as a taekwondo player. I will always be a part of taekwondo fraternity and I am committed to work for the betterment of the sport till the end of my life,” said Bista upon his arrival after taking part in the Chef-de-mission seminar for the Youth Olympics Games.

In an interesting turnaround of the events on Tuesday, the Nepal Taekwondo Association suspended Bista from its central executive committee the same day he left for Singapore and also formed a probe committee to investigate his participation in the seminar. The NTA claimed Bista breached the committee regulations by going to Singapore at the time when the association was fighting against the Nepal Olympic Committee, whom the TAC has alleged of not providing funds for taekwondo players’ qualifying tournament for the Youth Olympics.

The same day, the National Sports Council also decided to ban Bista from taking part in any national and international events for one year. Bista, who is a permanent officer-level coach at the NSC, is also the president of the Athletes Commission under the NOC.

Clarifying his participation in the seminar, Bista said the NOC had nominated him the Chef-de-mission of the Youth Olympic Games as an honour. “They (NOC officials) said the opportunity was an honour for me after I won four gold medals in the South Asian Games and I accepted it,” said Bista, who became the first South Asian player to win four consecutive gold medals when he clinched the 11th SA Games gold in Dhaka in February.

“It’s not that I went to Singapore on a holiday trip. I did what I could for taekwondo during my stay in Singapore,” he said. Bista also said he met with IOC President Jacques Rogge and requested for wildcards for the Nepali taekwondo. “First of all, it was really tough to get to him (Rogge). I met with him and requested for wildcards to Nepali taekwondo players,” said Bista, the only second Nepali player to have qualified for the Olympic Games.

Asked about the actions taken by the NSC and NTA, Bista said he was shocked by the news. “I have not received anything officially as of now but I was shocked when I came to know about the actions through media,” he said. “I will be able to give my views about the actions only after I receive official documents regarding that,” he said. The two-time Asian Games bronze medallist Bista said he had no intentions of going against taekwondo. “Taekwondo is my life. As long as live in this world, going against taekwondo, association and its officials would be the last thing I would do,” said Bista. “I played for my country and I always believe the people of my country. I will never let them down,” said Bista.