L Monika case shocks State
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 06: The doping charge against weightlifter Laishram Monika Devi which has come about even as she was packing her baggages for Delhi airport on her way to Beijing Olympics has been doubted and strongly contended not only by her own family members but also by the people of her home State.

Interacting with The Sangai Express at their Nachou Mayai Mamang Leikai residence in Bishnupur district today, the family members of Monika questioned the result of the dope test conducted on Monika contending that it reflects corruption and dirty politics in sports.

Laishram Sumila Devi, one of the elder sisters of Monika, categorically stated that there is corruption and dirty politics in the centre of the issue and the family members are fully aware of it.

Sumila informed that soon after hearing the morning news on the radio about the removal of Monika from the Indian contingent of Beijing Olympics on alleged ground of testing positive in doping test, her younger sister who is currently at Delhi was contacted through telephone.

However, it was learnt that Monika did not know anything about it and said she was packing up things for going to the airport.

Later on after some minutes passed 8 am, Monika called up her elder sister informing that she has received a report and would be attending a press conference in this regard.

Sumila further informed that some time earlier Monika had communicated to the family members back home about an incident while she was staying at the Bangalore camp during which Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and other MPs came down to Bangalore exerting pressure for selecting Sailaja Pujari in place of Monika for the Beijing Olympics.

Eldest sister of Monika L Mamta desired that doping test be conducted on her sister once more either at Beijing or World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

'My younger sister has been able to come up inspite of odds like corruption, politics and undue pressures and so please all the people of the State help her to reach Beijing', Mamta pleaded.

It may be noted that denying the charge Monika herself had volunteered to be shot dead if the dope test in Beijing also found to be positive.

When contacted, Monika informed that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has not yet conceded to the demand for giving reason for testing positive in dope test conducted on her.

In this regard, Monika conveyed that she would be meeting the Joint Secretary (Sports) of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports tomorrow.

The president of Indian Olympics Association Suresh Kalmadi has informed to contact him in case the Union Joint Secretary (Sports) could not give a definite reply on her case.

It is said that in case the doping report turned out to be false, there is still chance till August 13 for Monika to go to Beijing and participate in her 69 kg weight category of the Olympics competition.

Meanwhile, expressed disbelief over the report of Monika testing positive in the dope test, United Committee Manipur (UCM), National Identity protection Committee (NIPCO), United People's Front (UPF) Manipur, The Manipur People's Party and Chanura Marup Manipur People's Party have demanded that dope re-test should be conducted on Monika so that the truth of the matter could be established.

In a fax message despatched to Union Sports Ministers MS Gill, president of Manipur People's Party Dr L Chandramani Singh urged the Minister for immediate intervention to clarify the charges in the light of the denial of Monika and her daring to be shot dead if the dope test at Beijing is found positive.

The women wing of the party, Chanura Marup Manipur People's Party also drew the attention of the Sports Minister and the Chief Minister of Manipur for finding out the truth so that Monika could be send to Beijing and save her sporting career.

In separate statement, UCM, NIPCO and UPF observed that there is a conspiracy and hidden agenda in the last minutes declaration that Monika has been tested positive in the dope test and the matter should not be taken lightly and the Government of Manipur should act promptly for doing justice to the Manipuri sportspersons.

Asserting that the doping charge against Monika is baseless, Manipur Olympics Association (MOA), Manipur Weightlifting Association (MWA) and All Manipur Anti-Drug Association (AMADA) Mayai Loishang have strongly condemned the conduct of the Indian Weightlifting Federation.

Addressing a press conference jointly at the head office of AMADA here late in the evening, MOA secretary BC Singh, MWA treasurer S Manikanta Singh and AMADA secretary (sports) Th Roshan demanded that dope test should be reconducted on Monika.

They also informed that joint memorandum would also be submitted tomorrow to Union Sports Minister, Joint Secretary (Sports) of Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Indian Weightlifting Federation, Indian Olympics Association and Chief Minister and Sports Minister of Manipur urging the Government of India pay serious attention to the matter and allow Monika to participate in the 29th Beijing Olympics.

General secretary of AMADA Ph Phoni Meetei, who was also present at the occasion informed that MOA, MWA and AMADA would be organising a sit-in-protest demonstration jointly at Khuman Lampak tomorrow starting from 10 am.

On the other hand, demanding that Monika should be allowed to participate in the Beijing Olympics, 2008 without fail, DESAM and AMSU have announced that, if not, intense agitation would be launched against the State Government and SAI and MOA would be boycotted.

The two student bodies have also convened a public meeting at Manipur Press Club at 11 am tomorrow to discuss the issue of Monika.