Financial mismanagement, corruption and position abuse taking place in other sports bodies have often being ignored or overlooked by media focus directly mostly towards cricket.
But with Parliament now showing interest in putting a stop to financial and position abuse, the unsupervised rot that has been taking place at the National Olympic Committee (NOC) has come to light.
Branded in Parliament for the first time as most corrupt, the NOC now stands in the dock accused of being shielded by bureaucracy to the extent of damning the status and welfare of Olympic Silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe and the upcoming Olympian sprinter Yupun Abeykoon.
“An Audit Report of December 2022 clearly documents this institution (NOC) as the most corrupt”, Member of Parliament Chinthaka Mayadunne lashed out while naming several officials in the apex body for sport in the country as notorious in conduct.
He claimed the Audit Report was being concealed and branded Olympic officials as human smugglers responsible for the decamping of two administrators, one from the Wrestling Federation and another from the Judo Federation who jumped ship during last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
In a scathing attack, Mayadunne said officials from the NOC also ripped off payments from the Sports Ministry for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and usurped funds and other courteous benefits provided by the international Olympic fraternity in the name of Jayasinghe and Abeykoon.
“Three hardcore corrupt elements in the NOC took custody of finances meant for Susanthika Jayasinghe provided by the International Olympic Committee while opportunities made available to Yupun were squandered,” said Mayadunne.
Last year Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe in a letter fired to the Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) highlighted several financial misdeeds committed by the NOC but very little was done to rectify the situation or bring the culprits to book.
Ranasinghe conveyed to the OCA that Sri Lanka was represented by 116 athletes and 54 officials at the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham in 2022 and nine athletes and an official had deserted the contingent and not returned.
Ranasinghe also charged that ten officials for reasons best known to them who were entrusted with the tour party’s welfare had turned a blind eye to the disappearance of Sri Lankan athletes from the Games Village.