Olympics runner OP Jaisha 33, from Kerala, who collapsed at the finish line, has said that she ran the 42-km race without support from Indian officials who were missing at desks placed a few kilometres apart so that their competitors can be offered refreshments.
She also refuted the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) allegation that she refused energy drinks as she ran the marathon at the Rio Olympics.
One official said it is untrue that the officials were missing. He said Jaisha and her coach refused the offer to have refreshments served at the counters that Indian officials could have manned.
She said “Why would I lie? There was no water and after 21 km I was really exhausted.” She said she is not blaming the Sports Authority of India or the administration. She told a news agency that there needs to be an inquiry.
The Sports Ministry has now constituted a committee to probe the allegations by Jaisha who placed 89th in the marathon.
Jaisha also said she was compelled to run the marathon by her coach though she did not want to, having trained for the 100-metre race.
The AFI said Jaisha had qualified only for the marathon at the Rio Games and hence was not eligible to run in the 1500m race.