Hitting back at athlete OP Jaisha for making “misleading and incorrect” statements, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on August 22 issued a statement
claiming that what she has said false. Earlier in the day, Jaisha had alleged
that the Indian marathoners were not even given water during the women’s Olympic event which had led her to faint at the finish line after finishing 89th in the event.
Denying Jaisha’s allegation AFI in their statement said that they were “extremely disturbed to see a section of the media carry inaccurate and misleading information” without verifying the of facts first.
They further vouched that the arrangement for the marathon was organised by the Olympic Commission of Rio and not them as media stated. and added that the arrangements were commendable and as per rules. They further added that the arrangements were commendable and as per Olympic rules.
They further clarifyied that the organisers had installed one water point and one refreshment booth per every 2.5km.
With regards to Federations responsibility, they said that each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks at these booths, marked in a colour as per team choice but as per rule they, had to hand it over to them a night ahead of the competition.
Rio Marathon runners using water provided by organizers to cool them self off. Getty
The Indian Team Manager had even carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut, and visited the duo and their coach a night before so the provisions could be made. But they both declined the offer and said they didn’t require any personalised drink.
They were also informed the two that as per the rule an athlete would be disqualified if he or she accepts a drink from any other person or official standing at these stands.
They thus pointed out that it was incorrect of Jaisha to say that that the Indian officials accompanying the team did not provide her water or any other form of tonic to them.
The official temperature at the event too was noted to be 18 degree Celsius when the marathon started and went on to reach 26 degree Celsius when the race ended.
Meanwhile, Kavita Raut, who also represented India in the same event, did not complain of any issues that Jaisha claims to have faced.
Though she refused
to say anything on the claims made by Jaisha, she admitted that she didn’t face any such issues. Kavita, who finished the race behind Jaisha further added:
“I said I am OK with water and don’t need any special drinks. There were refreshment drinks at the designated spots and I took it from the volunteers stationed at those desks.”