9 August :Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and is believed to have taken up the issue of weightlifter L Monika Devi’s exclusion from the Indian Olympic team.
The Chief Minister is understood to have taken up the issue, which has sparked widespread protest in Manipur, with the Prime Minister, official sources said in New Delhi on Saturday.
Earlier, Manipur Olympic Association (MOA) had decided not to participate in any national championship and forthcoming National Games if Monika was not sent to Beijing as part of the Indian Olympic team.
The decision to boycott the national championships and National Games was taken at a joint meeting of the MOA, different sports associations and students organizations in Imphal on Friday.
A 24-hour general strike was observed in Manipur on Friday in protest against the dropping of Monika from the Indian team to Beijing.Monika’s exclusion in the team became a major issue, in Manipur with sports associations organising rallies to protest against the dropping of Monika from the team.
Monika cannot participate in Olympics, says IOA
Amidst reports that weightlifter Monika Devi has been cleared of dope charges, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said on Saturday that it was too late for her to take part in the Beijing Olympics.
"It is too late for Monika to come to Beijing now and take part in the Olympic Games because we have closed the entry process," IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh told a news agency.
Asked if IOA President Suresh Kalmadi could do anything to help Monika take part in the 69kg weight category competition scheduled for 13th August, Randhir said it was not possible at this level.
"What can Mr Kalmadi do? It is not National Games. It is Olympic Games and only IOC can take a decision," said Randhir who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Deputy Chef-de-Mission of Indian Olympic contingent in Beijing Baljit Singh Sethi said, "Monika just cannot take part in the Beijing Olympics. As of now, the organisers have not accepted her entry and to be honest I don’t see her competing here," Sethi added.
Asked to confirm if Monika was indeed coming here, Sethi said, "See, you cannot stop anyone from coming here. But the thing is she cannot take part. Her name has been withdrawn and how can she compete? She will not be allowed to enter the Olympic village."
Singh pointed out the draw of contestants in the 69kg category has been drawn up and Monika’s name does not figure in that.
The weightlifter from Manipur tested positive for an unnamed anabolic steroid on 6th August and was pulled out of the Beijing-bound Indian squad hours before the flight to Chinese capital.Courtsey : ddinews