Beijing, August 9:: Amidst reports that weightlifter Monika Devi has been cleared of dope charges, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said on Saturday that it was too late for her to take part in the Beijing Olympics.
“It is too late for Monika to come to Beijing now and take part in the Olympic Games because we have closed the entry process,” IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh said.
Asked if IOA President Suresh Kalmadi could do anything to help Monika take part in the 69kg weight category competition scheduled for August 13, Randhir said it was not possible at this level.
“What can Mr Kalmadi do? It is not National Games. It is Olympic Games and only IOC can take a decision,” said Randhir who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Deputy Chef-de-Mission of Indian Olympic contingent in Beijing Baljit Singh Sethi said, “Monika just cannot take part in the Beijing Olympics. As of now, the organisers have not accepted her entry and to be honest I don’t see her competing here”.
Asked to confirm if Monika was indeed coming here, Sethi said, “See, you cannot stop anyone from coming here. But the thing is she cannot take part. Her name has been withdrawn and how can she compete? She will not be allowed to enter the Olympic village.”
Singh pointed out the draw of contestants in the 69kg category has been drawn up and Monika’s name does not figure in that.
The weightlifter from Manipur tested positive for an unnamed anabolic steroid on August 6 and was pulled out of the Beijing-bound Indian squad hours before the flight to Chinese capital.
The Indian Express