New Delhi: Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra on Thursday said he was pained by the controversy surrounding his comments on Pakistani Arshad Nadeem using his javelin during the Tokyo Games and called the entire furore “propaganda aimed at pushing a dirty agenda.”
The 23-year-old Army man, who won India’s maiden Olympic medal in athletics — a gold in Tokyo, said nobody should use his name to rake up any controversy.
“I would request everyone to please not use me and my comments as a medium to further your vested interest and propaganda,” Chopra, who became only the second Indian to win individual Olympic gold, said on his Twitter handle.
“Sports teaches us to be together and united. I’m extremely disappointed to see some of the reactions from the public on my recent comments.
“There was nothing wrong with Arshad Nadeem using my javelin to prepare, it is within rules and please do not use my name to push a dirty agenda,” he added.
Chopra, in a recent interview, stated that he was searching for his personal javelin before his first throw during the Olympic final on August 7 and found Nedeem holding it.
According to rules, any javelin submitted to the officials by a competitor for his use can also be used by any other participant. This rule applies in all field events except for pole vault.
Chopra, who had used Valhalla version of Nordic brand during the final, made it clear that Nadeem, who had finished fifth, had not done anything wrong.
“A controversy (mudda) has come up that I had talked about taking the javelin from Pakistani participant Arshad Nadeem before my first throw in the final (on August 7). It has been made into a big controversy,” Neeraj Chopra said in a video clip posted along with his tweet.
“It’s is a very simple thing, we keep our personal javelin (inside a holding rack) but it can be used by anybody. It is the rule and there is nothing wrong in that. He (Nadeem) was having the javelin and preparing for his throw. I asked him to give it to me for my throw.
“I am very sad that a big controversy has been created taking my name. We javelin throwers share a good bond and speak to each other nicely.”
A former coach echoed Chopra’s view.
“There is no controversy. It is not that you brought your personal javelin and nobody can use it. When you submitted it, others can also use it. Any participant can use any javelin which is there (in the holding rack),” he told PTI.
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