In response to a show-cause notice for indiscipline against India’s ace paddler Manika Batra in August, she has claimed that Indian national coach Soumyadeep Roy tried to influence her to lose in an Olympic Qualification tournament in March this year.
Earlier in August, she scripted history when she became the first Indian TT player to reach the 3rd round at the Olympics.
The Table Tennis Federation of India (TFFI) issue the show-cause notice to the world no 56 ranked player for indiscipline at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Apparently, she refused to take Indian Coach Soumyadeep Roy’s assistance at the games.
Soumyadeep Roy himself is a former Indian TT player and has won gold at the Commonwealth Games. He has also been awarded the Arjuna Award.
Manika Batra submitted her 5-page response against the show cause notice and in that she accused coach Soumyadeep of pressurising her into conceding the Olympic qualification match to his other student Sutirtha Mukherjee in Doha in March this year. However, both Batra and Mukherjee ended up qualifying for the games.
In her response, she wrote, “I have been falsely charged with ‘bringing disrepute to the country by the sight of an empty chair of the coach’. But the truth is that the ‘empty chair’ was the result of the National coach’s pressure tactics for match-fixing and TTFI’s inaction to act on my prompt reporting of that incident and not the result of my so-called ‘indiscipline’.”
Mr Arun Kumar Banerjee who is the secretary-general of TFFI was amused by Manika’s response and questioned her logic behind waiting for five months to allege that national coach Roy had pressurised her to concede her match to his student during the Olympic qualification tournament in March.
He said that TFFI has asked Soumyadeep to submit his reply to the allegations and the issue will be discussed at the next TTFI executive committee meeting that will be convened at the earliest.