The National Sports Council (NSC) has urged the Sports Ministry to take drastic action against athletes who go missing while representing the country during international competitions.

Several Sri Lankan athletes went missing at the Commonwealth Games last year, while others have decamped on various sports tours in South Korea, Japan and European countries.

“The Sports Ministry should sign a bond of not less than rupees one million or property belonging to them or their parents signed as surety before the athletes go tours overseas,” NSC Charman Arjuna Ranatunga has advised the Minister.

In addition, the NSC hopes to propose to the Minister to request the foreign missions to grant visas only for the duration of the competition overseas.

“Athletes do sign an agreement with the Sports Ministry when they go abroad. However, this agreement cannot be taken forward if any athlete goes missing during a tour,” Ranatunga said. 

“The NSC has discussed at length on this matter. Our proposals may not be popular. We have no choice but to bring in drastic laws because it has brought a bad image to the country. Not only athletes but even officials go missing on some tours. It is the responsibility of the respective national federations,” said Ranatunga.

According to the NSC, since August 2022, 1410 athletes and coaches and 516 officials have gone on tours abroad.

source daily mirror