‘Monika case reflects attitude of mainstream towards northeast’

August 7th, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Imphal, Aug 7 (IANS) Community elders and family members of weightlifter Laishram Monika Devi, who was pulled out of the Beijing Olympic squad after failing a dope test, say it was a conspiracy and an attempt to defame the people of the northeast. “This is an attempt to defame sportspersons from the northeast and reflects the attitude of the mainstream towards the northeast. We often see this kind of discrimination in almost every field,” said Brajamani Singh, a community elder here.

“This entire episode is nothing but a conspiracy against my daughter to promote someone else. We want the test to be confirmed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and request the authorities to repeat the test at the doping test facility in Beijing,” Monika’s father L. Nabachandra Singh told IANS.

Monika Devi, hailing from Potsangbam Nachou village in Manipur’s Bishnupur district, was to compete in the 69 kg category at the Beijing Olympics beginning Friday.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has also taken a serious view of the matter.

“We cannot simply accept the reports. We are ready to send our sports minister (N. Biren) to New Delhi to take up the matter at the highest level,” the chief minister told journalists.

Monika, who was India’s lone woman representative for weightlifting, was selected in the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) trial last month. She bagged a silver medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.

The Manipuri girl was pulled out of the Indian squad for Olympic Games after testing positive for an anabolic salt in a doping test conducted by the Sports Authority of India June 29. However, she pleaded innocence.

Manipur Olympic Association president Elangbam Binoykumar Singh also sought a detailed investigation.

“We are trying our best to get in touch with the IOA for a through probe,” Singh said.

Judokas Khumujam Tombi Devi and archer Laishram Bombayla Devi are the other two sportspersons from Manipur in the Indian Olympic squad.

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