Olympic medallist Karnam Malleswari has shot back at Kunjarani Devi for putting her weight behind the Indian Weightlifting Federation, saying her compatriot's view regarding the current office bearers of IWF is "unwarranted and sponsored".
"The outburst of my compatriot (Kunjarani) on this issue after a period of hibernation is unwarranted and sponsored especially when the concerned office bearers (of IWF) are silent. As per the legal saying, their mere silence amounts to acceptance," Malleswari, country's lone Olympic medallist lifter, said in a rejoinder to IWF and Kunjarani on Wednesday.
"Till now my compatriot Kunjarani has been complaining against the working of the Federation and was not at all happy with them. I was really surprised (to see) how within a few months her views have taken 'U' turn."
"During these two years, she preferred to remain silent and this statement seems to have been arranged through her. The way she has showered praises on IWF president B P Baishya and general secretary, (Sahadev) Yadav is itself an attempt to dilute the issue raised by me," Malleswari added.
Malleswari's rejoinder came after double Asian Games bronze medallist lifter, Kunjarani had extended full support to the national federation and termed the former's statement against the IWF current office bearers as "baseless".
Malleswari recently resigned as vice-president of IWF as she was upset with the way the federation was working and felt that it was being run by people who do not know anything about the sport.
The 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze medallist weightlifter said the reason behind her resignation was the "arbitrary" functioning of the current IWF regime.
"In the resignation I have pointed out the arbitrary working of few concerned occupying higher position such as general secretary, president of IWF and have also quoted the specific instances of malfunctioning of the Federation," Malleswari said.
"However, even after 7 days of my resignation these office bearers have not countered my claim directly, perhaps deliberately, and instead have now taken an indirect route through my compatriot (Kunjarani)."
Malleswari also contested Kunjarani's claim that the performance of Indian weightlifters have improved by leaps and bounds under the leadership of the current regime.
"Had the Federation done all these praise-worthy work the performance of our sports person in this discipline would have been much better.
"If we go through the performance of the lifters during the last 2 years and the period prior to it, the position will be clear. In the earlier years we have won medals in Olympics as well as in all other international competitions, where as, now we have not even qualified for 2012 Olympics," she said.
She also disagreed with Kunjarani that the present office bearers have worked extensively to make the sport dope free.
"I also contest the claim of Kunjarani that the current regime was responsible for making the sport dope-free in India," Malleswari said.
"The statistics however, tell a different story as during last one-and-half-a-year, more then 25 lifters tested positive in India alone.
"This Federation has appointed some of the coaches who themselves have tested positive and again appointed those coaches who were banned by the earlier body on account of doping charges," she claimed.