The All India Inter-University swimming meet at the Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar came under official scanner after competitors complained that the results were being rigged to suit swimmers from universities in Punjab.
In a video shared by swimmer Anshul Kothari on Twitter, which was widely circulated, the inconsistency was seen as a competitor started early and the false start was not called. The swimmers whose errors were ignored were from Punjab universities, according to reports.
An Indian Express report started that automatic touch pads were not being used and officials were relying on manual time-keeping, which created further issues.
“This was a waste of time, energy and money. What we saw was discouraging. When we complained, we got death threats,” Bengaluru Jain University’s Srihari Natraj, national champion, was quoted as saying by the New India Express. Srihari skipped FINA World Cup for the event.
The mistakes have been rectified now, according to the Association of Indian Universities secretary general Pankaj Mittal.
In response, Dr Baljit Singh Sekhon, the Joint Secretary of Youth Affairs and Sport, has written to the Director of Sport and the Organising Secretary of LPU about the complaints.
In a copy of the letter with Scroll.in, Sekhon has asked them to reply within 24 hours and treat the matter has urgent. They are to provide the name of the officials deputed to conduct the event and in case any officials were involved in the malpractice, they are to be removed from duty at once.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also addressed the issue on Twitter and said action will be taken soon.
A top Swimming Federation of India official said that this is not the first time results at inter-university meets have been manipulated, according to The Indian Express.
“But there’s nothing the SFI can do because we don’t have a mandate or any authority at events conducted by the university games federation. As a result, no SFI official can be present at the competition. We can go and officiate at such an event only if we are invited, which we rarely are,” Chokshi Monal, secretary general of the SFI, was quoted as saying.