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OP Jaisha's water fiasco: Reversal of blames, AFI might take action against the athlete

Vidhi Shah
721   //    11 Nov 2016, 13:47 IST
Jaisha had blamed the incompetence of officials for her collapse at the finish line at the Rio Olympics

Marathon runner OP Jaisha who had lodged a complaint with the Sports Ministry earlier, that she was not provided personalised drinking water which led to her collapse after crossing the finish line at the Rio Olympics might now bear the brunt of the Athletic Federation of India. The AFI is mulling over the issue of taking action against the athlete for condemnatory claims. 

According to the athlete, who had to be rushed to the hospital due to dehydration, it was the absence of this provision which hurt her cause at the Olympic event. Jaisha claimed that Indian officials did not bother to make arrangements to provide water and energy drinks to her during the race despite designated stations after every 2.5 kilometres being allocated for Indian athletes.

Post her complaint, the Union sports ministry had launched an inquiry into the issue by setting up a committee. In the two-page report which was submitted and accepted by the Ministry last month, the blame was put on the athlete’s coach Nikolai Snesarev. The report stated that Indian officials had, in fact, asked the Belarusian coach about Jaisha’s requirement for personalised drinks but the coach had replied in the negative. 

Also read: 5 of the biggest feuds in Indian sporting history

According to a News18 report, both Mr CK Valson, the team leader and Mr Radhakrishnan, the deputy chief coach had inquired about Jaisha’s requirements, but Nicolai Snesarev had refused the same. 

However, the committee also stated that "It cannot be conclusively determined whether Ms. OP Jaisha was personally asked by the team management or her coach if she wanted personalised drinks.”

Jaisha who has expressed her disappointment over the fiasco, shall now possibly face action for making claims that were deemed as disturbing to the authorities. 

"We're waiting for the closure report of the committee tasked by Union sports ministry. AFI general council will soon meet and decide on what action should be taken against the concerned athlete. The charges made by the athlete brought unwarranted attention nationally and even globally. Indian government was disturbed by the claim, Sports Authority of India officials were pained, Indian Olympic Association had to answer many and AFI was taken to laundry by all," CK Valson, general secretary of AFI was quoted as saying to TOI on the sidelines of the inaugural day of the 32nd National Junior athletics Championships at the Nehru Stadium in Coimbatore on Thursday.

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