Sports minister forms enquiry committee to probe Jaisha allegations

New Delhi: Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Tuesday constituted a two-member committee to enquire into women marathoner O.P. Jaisha’s allegations about official apathy and callousness during the Rio Olympics.

The committee consists of joint secretary (Sports) Onkar Kedia and director (Sports) Vivek Narayan. The two member committee will submit its report in seven days, a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said.

“It has been widely reported in the media that Ms. O.P. Jaisha, marathon runner collapsed at the end of the marathon run in Rio Olympics 2016, as there were no Indian officials present to provide her water and energy drinks at refreshment points and that there were officials from all other countries to provide refreshments to their runners at designated points after every 2.5 kms,” the release added.

Jaisha on Monday revealed shocking levels of official incompetence, which she claimed could have even proved fatal for her.

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.

Jaisha finished 89th in the event with a below-par timing of 2 hours, 47 minutes and 19 seconds.

“It was very hot there. The competition was at 9 a.m., I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8 kms did we get water (from the Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every two kms but our country’s stall was empty,” Jaisha told a television news channel.

“We are supposed to be given drinks by our technical officials, it’s the rule. We cannot take water from any other team. I saw the Indian board there but there was nothing. I had a lot of problem, I fainted after the race. I was administered glucose, I thought I would die,” she added.

Jaisha had collapsed at the finish line after completing the marathon and had to be rushed to a hospital where her coach Nikolai Snesarev got into an altercation with one of the doctors and was detained by the local police for several hours.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has brushed aside her claims, saying she made those allegations against the governing body to cover up her poor performance.

The federation even said the athlete herself refused any arrangement when approached a day before the event by the officials.

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