Choice of Monika Devi's coach creates another controversy

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Patiala, Jul 28 (UNI) The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is once again in thick controversy over naming of a coach to accompany the lone woman lifter, Monika Devi, to Beijing Olympics.

Its move to drop senior weightlifter Anita Chanu, citing her inability to speak English language and send SAI weightlifting coach Shyamala Shetty to Beijing as the coach has drawn flak from sports experts here.

Chanu, a senior lifter of yesteryear, was selected by IWF in place of D D Sharma, an employee of Army Sports Institute (ASI) after loud protest erupted over sending a male coach with a female lifter to Olympics.

The IWF promptly withdrew his name and selected Chanu in his place but now it has even dropped her on the pretext that she cannot speak English.

However, according to government observer, Sham Lal Salwan, Bangalore-based Shetty, who has been summoned to Delhi by the IWF secretary, B R Gulati for the job, is not a ''clean choice''.

Talking to UNI, Salwan alleged that Shetty was one of the four lifters caught for doping in 1991 on the eve of Asian Weightlifting Championship in Indonesia.

Moreover, Paritosh Upadhyaya, a junior male lifter, who was training in Bangalore under Shymala Shetty, was also caught for doping.

''It is ridiculous to send a tainted woman weightlifting coach, who had not even attended the national camp at Pune, along with Monika Devi to Beijing Olympics,'' opines Salwan.

''I have sounded the secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in this context, he said, adding that he felt that Anita Chanu or Dronacharya awardee Hansa Sharma would be better choices as Olympic coach.


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