Bindra's 'golden' gun was tampered before final: Official

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Beijing, Aug 13 (UNI) The Indian camp here today went in tizzy when reports came quoting Abhinav Bindra that his gunsights was tampered with before the final of Monday's 10m Air Rifle event.

Though Chandigarh based marksman went on to win country's first individual Olympic gold medal, top officials with the Indian contingent here said there was a possibility of this allegation being true.

Deputy Chef the Mission Baljit Singh Sethi, also the secretary general of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), said the gunsights had been altered before the final and it was only because of his unflappable nature that Bindra went on to win the medal.

''We did not know it but after the final, he told us that he found his gunsight altered. But he is a very cool boy and has lot of patience. Lesser mortals would have panicked but he maintained his cool and went on to win the gold,'' Sethi said.

However, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Randhir Singh, who is also here as the International Olympic Council (IOC) member and its's observer for the shooting competition said he had not received any complaint about the incident.

''How can I react to something when there is no formal complaint about it,'' he told UNI.

Bindra had earlier been quoted by a newspaper as saying that between the qualifying and final sessions, he went to the rest room and his German coach Gaby Buehlmann also went out for a smoke and that was probably the time when the unattended gun was fiddled with.

Sethi, however, added that there was no need to start the blame game and said, ''I don't think that helps. Actually, you cannot blame anyone, it's your duty to take care of your gun.

He was the only Indian to qualify, so, there were shooters only from other countries in that room.'' Asked if the management made a complaint about the incident, Sethi said, ''No, because it was his duty to attend the gun. You cannot blame anyone for that.'' Shooting coach TS Dhillon also confirmed the incident but added this was not the first time that such things happened.

''It happened earlier also. In Abhinav's case, during the sighter series, he was suddenly scoring as low as 4.2 before gradually scores picked up. It took him 40 clicks to reach the centre stage.

And he had just three minutes.

''It's another matter that he went on to defy the setback and win the gold, it only goes on to prove how good a shooter he is,'' Dhillon added.

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