Indian Swimmers Say University Meet Was Rigged, Protests Rage

Swimmers say that results of the All India Inter-University swim meet have been rigged and that obvious cheating has been overlooked, sparking major on-deck protests.

The meet is being hosted at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar, India. The India Express reports that touchpads are not being used at the meet, and that swimmers are complaining that results are being changed after races to favor teams from Punjab. Swimmers also allege that officials are ignoring false starts.

In the video below, an LPU swimmer says he finished 6th in the 50 fly, but was awarded second place because he was representing the host school:

And this video says it catches swimmer Sahil Chopra performing a blatant false start, but that Chopra was awarded first place in the event:

A meet official – who wishes to remain anonymous – confirmed to SwimSwam via a telephone call that results had been changed after the fact, with times adjusted, sometimes by upwards of 30 seconds. The anonymous official said that times were changed in the men’s 400 freestyle, adjusting Chopra’s time from something in the 4:40s to a 3:59 to give Chopra the win; however, the official also says after the protest, the results were changed again and Chopra was eventually removed from the results.

Swimmer Srihari Natraj told The Indian Express that three of four swimmers on LPU’s 4×100 free relay false started. Despite that, he says, and despite the fact that Jain University finished first in 3 minutes and 32 seconds, the LPU team was awarded the win in final results with a time of 3:31.

This isn’t the first time similar allegations have been raised about the meet. Back in 2017, athletes accused host Panjab University of bending rules to give an unfair advantage to its own swimmers.

Swimmers Protest

The allegations of cheating have led to a strong outcry from athletes. Likith SP, an Olympic hopeful with a FINA B cut, stood on a starting block during the meet holding a protest sign. You can see the video below. The sign read the following: “I would prefer even to fail with honour than win by cheating. Let’s all swim fair, say no to cheating.”

The New Indian Express reports that other high-level swimmers have joined the protests, but they say they’ve received death threats for complaining about the fairness of the meet:

“This was a waste of time, energy and money,” said Nataraj in The New Indian Express. “What we saw was discouraging. When we complained, we got death threats.

More social media posts about the protests:

Amazing support from all of you thanks a lot guys Specially Likith SP you are the amazing man thanks you NIHAR SIR AND…

Posted by Prithvi Mahesh on Saturday, November 2, 2019

The guy who does early start is given 1st place.Shame on Sahil Chopra for doing this. And on top of that he has the…

Posted by Prithvi Mahesh on Friday, November 1, 2019

Video showing that Sahil Chopra, in lane 2, clearly false-starting, clearly finishing in 2nd place, but being awarded the win anyway.

SFI & Sports Minister Response

A top official with the Swimming Federation of India said that this wasn’t the first time results at this meet have been manipulated.

“This happens almost all the time every year,” said secretary general Chokshi Monal in The Indian Express story. “But there’s nothing SFI can do because we don’t have a mandate or authority at events conducted by the university games federation.

He said the university meet’s results don’t count for national team selection or for national records, because the federation knows the meet’s results are not reliable.

Meanwhile Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of State of the Ministroy of Youth Affairs and Sports, responded to the allegations on Twitter, saying that authorities are already in touch with All-India Inter-University officials

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SwimMom

Wow, that swimmer obviously has incredible reaction time, says the “Lovely Professional” organizer!

Heyitsme

Lol tf

Sprintdude9000

The cheating so blatant it almost looks like it’s from a bad slapstick comedy

About Sanuj Srivastava

Sanuj Srivastava

Sanuj Srivastava born on January 19th, 1996 in INDIA. He started to love Water at the age of 13 and his friends named him "Gold fish", He graduated in Bachelor of science in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in 2016. He is a passionate learner and a student who also happens …

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