Monika's case : Negative points come to the fore
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 11: Shocked and awed at the omission of weightlifter L Monika Devi from India's Olympic contingent sports fraternity in the State were unanimous that the traumatic experience experienced by Monika would have adverse affect upon budding sportsperson.

Taking grim note of the insipid manner of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that ultimately denied Monika her rightful place for the ongoing Beijing Olympic players, past and present Olympians, coaches and leaders of various sports and social organisations of Manipur vociferously demanded fitting punishment against responsible for Monika's unjustifiable ouster from the contingent.

Till date Manipur has produced nine Olympians and several international level athletes in addition to topping other States in national level competitions.

also known as the nation's mini powerhouse of sports a number of Arjuna awardees and champions of various international competitions are from this tiny State which frequently grabs the attention of national media for all the wrong reasons mostly insurgency related incidents.

State's first Olympian P Neelkomol Singh, while expressing serious concern over the false doping charge levelled against Monika, recounted he was also victimized while he was an active player during a trial selection camp at New Delhi in 1982.he, however, regretted decision spearheaded by the Manipur Olympic Association (MOA) to boycott national games and national championships cautioning that such a stand would dull sports activities consequently resulting in putting the athletes' sporting career on a compromising position.

Manipur Olympic Association president Elangbam Binoykumar Singh asserted that a full scale investigation should be initiated and officials found involved in ousting Monika be given exemplary punishment.

President of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association Leishangthem Surjit pointing out that ultimate dream of any sportsperson is to participate in the Olympics fumed that lack of professionalism on the part of Sports Authority of India and Indian Olympic Association officials has negated such cherished objective and spirit of athletes.

"This has happened to Monika.

This is a big injustice done to the state's athletes who have no support from central authorities," Surjit lamented.

Surjit, who is also the chairman of the north east zonal sports climbing competition informed that the MMTA would extend all possible cooperation to any democratic movement to bring justice on Monika issue.

MMTA would also intimate functionaries of Indian Mountaineering Association to prevail upon central leaders to help in pinning responsibilities against guilty officials.

Senjam Khamba (23), national games bronze medallist in boxing said "we are shocked to hear Monika's ouster.

We want a specific stance from the central authorities that such sordid event do not recur. Pugilists Kh Bobby and L Meerananda also echoed Khamba's sentiment.

Budding woman weight lifter Kh Joshila Devi (21), expressed serious concern over the issue saying "our future too is in stake".

"When such things happen we too are doubtful of join international championships," reacted Joshila, who bagged gold in the national championship last year.