Back home at Manipur too, the report of positive dope result and the timing of declaration of result, didn’t go down well with the sportsperson and the people; with MOA (Manipur Olympic Association) deciding not to send participants to any National Championship and forthcoming National Games if Monica Devi is not sent to Beijing and citizens calling general strike on 8th August to protest dropping of Monica Devi at the eleventh hour.
Substantiating the general speculation that there may be something fishy about the dope test result, Monica Devi was cleared of all the charges. But alas, it came all too late for her to join the contingent to Beijing Olympics. India’s Olympic contingent Head Baljit Singh Sethi has said that there is no way Devi can compete. The entries closed on Aug. 7 for her event.
All this drama of doping charge at the eleventh hour and clearing of charges later, denying chance to sportsperson of this region to represent the country has put a big ‘Question Mark’ to the future of aspiring sportsperson of the region and the sports in India. Why this 'politics' to sabotage a sportsperson career and a chance to Olympics? Was it the case of preference over performance? Or as a colleague of mine suggested, it was a familiar case of intolerance of so-called mainstream Indian to the North-Easterner, which on any other time I would have differed but for the circumstances and timing of clearing the charges, which was in his favor.
Now, it would be interesting to see what action would be initiated against those responsible authorities. Or would there be any action at all?
-G. Tallo with inputs from AG