Refuting Olympic marathoner OP Jaisha’s claim that Indian officials did not arrange for water and energy drinks during her race in the Rio Olympics run, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has issued a statement saying that it were the athlete and her coach who refused to avail of the option of having energy drinks during the race.
Jaisha on Monday had alleged that Indian officials did not arrange for water and energy drinks during her race under scorching heat, despite designated stations being given for the country.
Jaisha added that she got no response from the officials when she tried to get a clarification on the issue.
“It was very hot there. I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8 km, did we get water (from Rio organisers), which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2 km, but our country’s stall was empty,” said Jaisha who collapsed after she finished 89th in Rio Olympics women’s marathon event.
Jaisha, speaking to TV channels on Monday, said that even her coach thought she was dead.
However, the AFI in a statement said: “Each team is allowed to keep their own personalised drinks on the booths, marked in a colour as per the choice of the team and athlete. Accordingly, as per the rule, on the night ahead of women’s marathon race, the Indian team manager carried 16 empty bottles, eight each for Jaisha and Kavita Raut and visited the duo and their coach Nikolai Snesarev in their room.
“The team manager asked them to provide their choice of personalised drink which would then be sealed in their presence and handed over to the organisers for installing them on the booth along with a placard as per the requirement of the athlete.
“In this case, the two athletes, Ms Jaisha and Ms Raut declined the offer and informed the Indian team manager that they didn’t require personalised drink, and if at all they required it during the race, they would use the drinks available at the water booth and refreshment booth provided by the organisers,” the AFI said.