In what is a big embarrassment for the nation, as many as 18 overaged Indian athletes were asked to return home from the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing on Sunday. Most of these athletes sent by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) were above the age limit of 17. According to reports, more athletes may be thrown out. However, the AFI says that it is a case of miscommunication and an inquiry panel can sort out the problem.
The 18 athletes, part of a 27-member squad, were already in Nanjing when they were told to pack and fly back without competing, leaving the contingent severely depleted. Indian athletes are participating in the event as "Independent Olympic Athletes" as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is under suspension.
The setback comes just two days after four Indian badminton players landed in Nanjing to find that they had not even been entered in their respective events. They too are likely to return home without taking any part in the Games.