The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has accused China of cheating in the ongoing Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou and deliberately targeting Indian athletes after the controversy surrounding Neeraj Chopra's first throw in the men's javelin final on Wednesday.
Chopra's first throw was not registered due to a technical glitch, as cited by the Chinese officials and organisers.
The world champion had to restart his attempts from scratch despite comfortably going over the 86-metre mark in his unrecorded first throw.
He went on to win the event with a season's best throw of 88.88m with compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena taking the silver medal.
Chopra later opened up on the confusion surrounding his first throw and expressed shock at the incident.
"I don't know why they did not measure my first throw. Just after me, the second and third competitors had their throws and their distance were measured. I kept on asking what happened to my first throw.
"I was puzzled and confused, it has never happened in any competition I have competed in till now. I think they lost my landing mark and they kept on looking for it," Chopra said after winning the gold medal.
AFI vice-president Anju Bobby George meanwhile, accused China of cheating against Chopra and Jena, who's fourth throw was called a foul despite him not crossing the white line.
"They are trying to cheat us and trying to disturb our athletes. Neeraj's first throw was very good and it was a kind of disturbance. We called Neeraj to protest there itself. Jena's throw was also called foul when he was one foot behind the line," the legendary long jumper alleged.
"Winning in China is very difficult so though we are the best runners, throwers, jumper they will do all such mischief and disturb our athletes. I think they are purposefully doing this. I'm deeply, uh, saddened to see such kinds of incidents happening in the Asian Games.
"We are planning to protest against the officials. Now the competition is over. We've got gold and silver for Neeraj, Jena and Annu Rani. But this cannot because we knew. uh, our winning medals in China is very difficult. Even if you do better, they will do some mischief," George added.