Sports Ministry blames OP Jaisha's coach for water fiasco at Rio Olympics

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Sports Ministry blames OP Jaisha's coach for water fiasco at Rio Olympics

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SportsCafe Desk


The committee appointed by the sports ministry to probe runner OP Jaisha's complaint of not being provided water at the Rio Olympics, has blamed her coach Nikolai Snesarev for the fiasco. The committee also placed the blame on Jaisha for not requesting a personalized drink before the event.

During the Rio Olympics in September, Indian long-distance runner OP Jaisha, who had finished 89th in women's marathon event with a timing of 2:47:19, had to be hospitalised after collapsing at the finish line owing to dehydration.

After she a complaint with the Indian sports ministry in September, the ministry put together an inquiry committee to probe the affair. The committee, after a two-month period, released a two-page report on Friday.

In the report, the committee has concluded that Jaisha's coach Nikolai Snesarev had refused personalised drinks for Jaisha ahead of the marathon even though Indian officials had asked him about his pupil's requirements.

"The Team leader, CK Valson and the deputy chief coach, Radhakrishnan did ask Nikolai on the eve of the marathon if Jaisha required any personalised drink. They were told that she did not require any personalised drink," the report read.

“Jaisha's coach, Nikolai should have been more careful in anticipating the requirements of Jaisha during the marathon and projecting the same to the organisers. He also could have given the required advice/guidance to Jaisha," it added.

The committee also said in the report that Jaisha was also at fault for not notifying the Indian officials for drinks at the end of her event.

"It cannot be conclusively determined whether OP Jaisha was personally asked by the team management or her coach if she wanted personalised drink.”

"Water as available to athletes in general was available to OP Jaisha as well. Indian officials were not present at the booths where personalised drinks were kept, but this was because they did not have any request for personalised drink for OP Jaisha," it said.

"Other countries whose athletes requested for personalised drinks were present at the booths as per rules. Coach is the chief guide to an athlete and is required to take care of his/her interest.

To avoid any confusion in the future events, the committee has recommended a written consent from the athlete about his/her requirements.

"In future marathon races, the decision of the athlete whether he/she will require any personalised drink may be taken in writing so that there is no ambiguity about it," the report said.

"Athletes should be briefed in detail about the rules of the competitions, their entitlements, and facilities which would be available to them during the competitions including marathon. Marathoners should be briefed about the details of the route and the facilities available along the route," it added.