NEW DELHI: The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) is bemused why star player Manika Batra remained silent for more than five months and then levelled serious charges against national coach Soumyadeep Roy that he tried to influence her to lose in an Olympic Qualification tournament in March this year, only after being served a show-cause notice in August for indiscipline.
Manika had made history at the Tokyo Olympic Games by becoming the first TT player from the country to reach the third round at the Games before losing to Austria's Sofia Polcanova.
In a controversy that has been festering for some time now, Manika had refused national coach Roy's help during her singles matches in Tokyo after her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was not given FOP 'field of play' access due to limited accreditations handed out by the Tokyo Games Organisers.
On her return from Tokyo, TTFI served Manika a show-cause notice for indiscipline and asked her to explain her refusal to allow Roy to sit courtside and help her during her matches.
Manika in her response to TTFI's show-cause denied charges of indiscipline and instead alleged that national coach Roy had "pressurised me during the qualification tournament in Doha in March 2021 to concede my match to his student to enable her to qualify for the Olympics".
Speaking to IANS from Lucknow, TTFI secretary general Arun Banerjee said that when Manika's personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was not accredited for 'field of play', there was no way he could sit courtside and guide Manika. IANS