Fri, 09 May 2003

Sports Council waits for Lisa for IOC financial aid

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Women's weight lifter Lisa Rumbewas, who earned a silver medal for Indonesia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is expected to sign the Olympic Solidarity form within the next few days before the National Sports Council (KONI) submits it to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"We hope she agrees to the details, particularly on the amount of money she deserves to get," Kusnan Ismukanto, KONI's chief in charge of foreign affairs, told a media conference on Thursday.

Lisa is among the 11 Indonesians on a list of athletes entitled to financial assistance from the IOC for training and tournaments ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The other 10 beneficiaries are cyclists Uyun Muzizah and Santia Tri Kusuma, lifters Erwin Abdullah and Tanti Pratiwi, wind-surfer Oka Sulaksana, tennis player Angelique Widjaja, shuttlers Taufik Hidayat, Ronny Agustinus, Halim Haryanto and Candra Wijaya.

Except for the last four, the athletes will receive a monthly disbursement of US$1,000 in financial assistance for a year. The shuttlers, whose IOC approval was revealed only recently, will pocket $800.

However, a snag arose when Lisa refused to sign the form as she would have received only $200 in fees.

The Indonesian Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Bodybuilding Association (PABBSI) blamed Lisa's rejection on KONI's failure to explain the form in detail.

"The money ($200) I had expected Lisa to receive was purely for fees as the rest would be allocated for coaching, room and board and other needs during training," PABBSI spokesperson Alamsyah Wijaya told The Jakarta Post later.

He said the association had left the issue up to KONI to resolve.

At a meeting between KONI and sports organizations on Thursday, it was decided that the weight lifters would each receive $680 each with the balance to go to the coaches as "a token of appreciation".

It appears that the share of disbursements differs from one sports organization to the other. The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) has made the athlete-coach ratio $700 to $300, while the Indonesian Cycling Association (ISSI) has set it at $630 to $370.

The Indonesian Yachting Association (Porlasi) allowed Oka, who is training himself in Bali, to take the entire sum. The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) has done the same for its shuttlers.

The amount, for some athletes, may be deducted further if their sports organizations make them pay for their room and board.

"That matter will be left up to the sports organizations' policies about their respective athletes. Meanwhile, PBSI does not deduct room and board expenses from the amount," Kusnan said.

KONI secretary-general Oyong Karmayuda said he would contact Lisa to sign the form immediately before it is submitted to the IOC.