Indian swimmer Lihit Selvaraj said on Wednesday that time had been “manipulated” during the recent Uzbek Open to qualify local Olympic participants, and called for an investigation into the issue by the world body FINA.
In a video uploaded to You Tube, he even went so far as to say that the organizers of the Olympic qualifying event on April 13-17 in Tashkent tried to bribe him when he protested.
“It was quite sad and heartbreaking to see a lot of time manipulation in favor of a few swimmers from Uzbekistan, which also led to the reporting of bad times for Indian swimmers,” he said in the video.
“I ask all other swimmers to come out and FINA to start an investigation and take action against the necessary person or swimmers involved.”
The 22-year-old reigning national champion Selvaraj had won silver medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke in Tashkent.
He is close to achieving Olympic qualifying time of 1: 01.72 in the 100m breaststroke. His personal record in the event was 1: 02.02.
He pointed out that the 100 meters freestyle is prepared on the opening day and the 100 meters butterfly on the last day should be considered by FINA. Upload videos from the matches and the final race.
“He started with 100m freestyle on Day 1, where Alexei Tarasenko (from Uzbekistan) swam 51 seconds in the matches, but his time was changed to 48.55 and given the” A “for the Olympics. They did not show the time they did not turn it off, “he said.
He claims that the same thing happened on the last day and the board was closed again during a 100-meter butterfly event and the organizers did not share the time of the Indians.
“In the 100m butterfly, Sayan Prakash finished first in the matches with a time of 54 seconds. We checked the time manually, as the results were not shown. But after the results came out, it was quite shocking. Tarasenko was given first with a time of 52.02 and Sajan 52.74. “
The other Indian swimmer in the event, D Adithya, who scored 56.43 at the state championships in Karnataka in early March, was credited with a flattering time of 53.45 seconds, which also meets the “B” standard for Olympic qualifying.
“The times of the top 8 swimmers have been manipulated,” Selvaraj said.
He said he protested by not attending his event, although he went up to the blocks.
“I had my 200m breaststroke final on the last day. Seeing all that didn’t make me swim. Instead I went to the blocks and when the start was given, I never jumped, I never dived for my twin breaststroke final.
“Instead, I just froze on the blocks for the next 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Then I went down, touched the touchpad and stopped my own time, asked the officials if the new world record showed them what they were doing wrong and I just left the pool,” he said. .
Selvaraj said he was followed by officials and organizers, and he told them they were cheating.
“I was told” you do not understand politics, we received instructions from the authorities to send 10 Olympic cuts from Uzbekistan. They tried to bribe me with a lot of money to keep my mouth shut. I rejected. Later, they begged me not to let this in there.
“A few minutes later they came back to me, they asked for a letter from me stating that I was mentally unstable and deaf, so I couldn’t hear the start when they released the buzzer at 200 meters breaststroke. . “