According to the regulations of the National Youth Table Tennis Team (ages 13-17), breakfast costs VND100,000 (US$4.09), lunch is VND120,000, and dinner is VND120,000 (US$4.09). 100,000 VND for an athlete every day.
Meals are served at the team cafeteria right next to the My Dinh National Stadium in Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi.
However, according to feedback from many athletes at the start of the week, the meals did not suit them.
With these daily expenses, there should be enough food to feed the athletes. However, they had to spend their own money to buy food from outside or ask their families to send food so that they would have enough nutrition and energy to train.
For breakfast, they only get a packet of sticky rice and a bottle of soft drink, while the other meals of the day consist of only a few dishes like fried tofu, braised fish and boiled vegetables.
The athletes also said they had to transfer part of their allowance to coach Bui Xuan Ha. The coach said the money was used for transportation to competitions, buffets, movies and picnics, but the athletes said such activities did not exist.
On Tuesday, the Department of Sports and Physical Training requested the Department of Sports Performance II, the Department of Table Tennis, the National Sports Training Center and the National Sports Complex to inspect and verify the information.
Phan Anh Tuan, head of the table tennis department and secretary general of the Vietnam Table Tennis Federation, said he was working with coaches and athletes to find out if there had been any violations.
“In the meeting with the Department of Physical Education and Sports, coaches as well as athletes said that the information in the media was inaccurate,” he added.
The Department of Physical Education and Sports is expected to report to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism this week.
Athletes’ meals come from the state budget allocated each year to the sports industry.
The Ministry of Finance plans a nutritional expenditure of VND 320,000 per person per day for national team and national youth team athletes. Athletes preparing for the SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics will receive VND 480,000 per day. Athletes capable of winning gold medals at the Asian Games, Youth Olympics and Olympic Games receive VND 640,000 per day.