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Monika demands justice in doping fiasco

August 19, 2008 15:12 IST

Weightlifter Monika Devi, who was forced to miss the Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images] due to a bungled dope test, has threatened not to take part in any national or international event until the officials who "wrongly accused" her of failing the test are punished.

Monika, a 69kg category lifter, said she is a victim of politics in sports.

"I could not take part in the Olympic games as a result of politics in Indian sports. All those who are responsible for framing false charges against me must be pulled up and given befitting punishment," she demanded.

An emotional Monika who arrived in Imphal from New Delhi [Images] on Monday, said she never knew politics in Indian sports would be "so dirty to the extent that an innocent player who had worked hard would be dropped at the last minute from participating in the Olympic games by framing false charges."

At a function organised in her honour, she welcomed the support given by the people of her state who called a bandh on Tuesday in protest against her exclusion from the Olympics squad.

"The stand taken by the people of my state for a victimised player like me is simply overwhelming," she said with tears in her eyes while seeking the continued support of the people in finding out the truth and punishment to the guilty.

Earlier, the Manipur Olympic Association (MOA) had decided not to participate in any national championship and the coming National games if Monika Devi was not sent to Beijing.

Monika  was prevented from boarding the Beijing flight at the last minute on August 6 after it was claimed she had tested positive for a banned anabolic salt.

Backed by the Indian Weightlifting Federation, Monika claimed innocence as she had cleared four dope tests in the last two months and alleged that she was being victimised by some members of the Sports Authority of India.

"I am innocent. I have always stayed away from doping and that is why I was selected in the trials," a tearful Monika had said at a press conference in New Delhi on August 6.

"Everyone knows there are various international tests and no sensible athlete would do that [dope]. I am ready to go to Beijing where my dope test is scheduled for tomorrow. If I fail there, leave apart banning me for life, shoot me in public," she had said.

Monika, who was selected ahead of Andhra weightlifter Shailaja Pujari in the trials last month, claimed some people in the SAI were trying to make case for Shailaja due to regional allegiance.

However, three days later on August 9, she was cleared by the SAI of any wrongdoing but the relief came too late for her to participate in the Olympics.

Unhappy over the Sports Authority of India's flip-flop over dope tests involving the weightlifter, Sports Minister M S Gill appointed former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy to inquire into all aspects of this matter on August 13 and submit its findings within a week.

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