Monika dope saga ...
Claims 1st casualty, Naidu sent packing

Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

New Delhi, September 18: Less than a week after T S Krishnamurthy submitted his report on the Monika Devi doping saga, a top Sports Authority of India official was today removed from his post at the SAI headquarters here and sent packing to Bhopal.

R K Naidu, who was the SAI Director (Team Division), has been transferred to Bhopal and would be replaced by SS Roy, who is the Director of SAI Northern Centre in Sonepat, ministry sources told PTI.

Monika was about to board the Beijing flight before she was charged to have flunked a dope test.

After a lot of drama and protest wave, the lifter was cleared by a review committee set up by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

But the reprieve came too late and the Olympic door had been shut on her face by then.

Krishnamurthy was less than impressed by the role played by SAI in the entire episode and was particularly annoyed with the inordinate delay between Monika's dope tests and intimation of the results to the lifter.

"There is no doubt that there has been a considerable delay in completing the test of the sample of Monika Devi taken on June 6, 2008 and in communicating the same to the athlete.

Had the testing been done within the stipulated time and the result thereof been communicated immediately thereafter, the disappointment and the mental shock the athlete had by the sudden and abrupt communication especially through the media first could have been easily avoided," the former Chief Election Commissioner had observed in his report.

In her submission before the one-man committee, Monika had alleged Naidu was elusive throughout the episode. "The conduct of Shri Naidu was very strange and he ought not to have behaved in that fashion.

It appears that he was very much aware of the pre-determined plan to be carried out...," Monika had alleged in her submission.

Monika said if SAI and Indian Olympic Association were against her participation in Beijing, they could have intimated her and she would have stepped aside.

"It appears that the officials of the Sports Authority of India have taken mischievous actions under the impression that I being a girl from a state like Manipur would not be able to do anything against them," Monika rued.

According to her, when she, accompanied by Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) officials, confronted Naidu with the dope test results, the SAI official retreated to an "inner room" to avoid them.

Though the IWF cited precedence and sought a B sample test for Monika, Naidu allegedly did not reply to that letter.