New Delhi: The Athletics Federation of India on Saturday admitted that "lack of communication" on its part resulted in an embarrassing situation, where Manikanda Arumugam replaced originally named Praveen Muthukumaran in the 4x100m men's relay trials for the anchor leg.
While Arumugam ran a good final lap resulting in a timing of 39.06s to attain the qualifying mark, he did not figure in the original list forwarded by the AFI. But the Federation officials failed to convincingly explain the goof up that happened in Bengaluru.
"We agree that there was a miscommunication on our part and things could have been handled much better. But we must clarify that this was not done with intention of impersonation," said AFI COO Manish Kumar, who was in a damage control mode on the eve of team's departure for 21st Asia Athletics Championship in Wuhan.
"Since the coach Dmytro Venyaikin felt comfortable with Arumugam, he wanted him to run the last lap. Since he did well, Arumugam has been selected," Kumar further added.
In fact, Muthukumaran, who didn't run in the trials might still go to the competition as the seventh member of the relay team as AFI has requested the ministry and Sports Authority of India to clear his name.
The AFI COO also said that Arumugam will join the squad by Tuesday as his visa related work will be sorted out by Monday.