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OP Jaisha's ordeal: Marathon runner demands enquiry after AFI says she refused to avail energy drinks

Refuting Jaisha's claim, AFI said that it was she who refused to avail the option of having energy drinks.

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:38
OP Jaisha's ordeal: Marathon runner demands enquiry after AFI says she refused to avail energy drinks

New Delhi: Indian Marathon runner OP Jaisha has slammed Athletics Federation of India's (AFI) statement where the federation said that she refused to avail energy drinks during her marathon race at Rio Olympics 2016.

Jaisha on Monday alleged that Indian officials did not arrange for water and energy drinks during her race in the Rio Olympics run under scorching heat despite designated stations being given for the country, a claim denied by Athletics Federation of India.

"It was very hot there. I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8km did we get water (from Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2km but our country's stall was empty," said Jaisha who finished 89th in Rio Olympics women's marathon event with a below-par timing of 2:47:19.

But since AFI has slammed her charges, speaking to ANI, Jaisha asked why would she lie and also demanded an enquiry for the truth to come out. Jaisha also said that there were cameras installed everywhere so the footage can show whether Indian officials were present or not.

AFI secretary C K Valson said that they are not allowed to give drinks in between to athletes else they will be disqualified.

Jaisha collapsed at the finish line after completing the race and had to be rushed to a hospital where her coach Nikolai Snesarev got into an altercation with one of doctors and ended up being detained for half a day by local police.

Refuting Jaisha's claim, AFI said that it was she who refused to avail the option of having energy drinks.

"Each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks on the booths, marked in a colour as per the choice of the team and athlete. Accordingly, as per the rule, on the night ahead of women's marathon race, Indian team manager carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut and visited the duo and their coach Nikolai Snesarev in their room," the AFI said in a statement.

"The team manager asked them to provide their choice of personalised drink which would then be sealed in their presence and handed over to the organisers for installing them on the booth along with a placard as per the requirement of the athlete.

"In this case, the two athletes, Ms Jaisha and Ms Raut declined the offer and informed the Indian team manager that they didn't require personalised drink, and if at all they required it during the race, they would use the drinks available at the water booth and refreshment booth provided by the organisers," the AFI said.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:38

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