Jared Anderson contributed to this report.
Host Panjab University has been bending rules to give unfair advantage to its swimmers at the All India Inter-University Championships, a swimmer from a rival school alleges, pointing to a video of what appears to be two very blatant, uncalled false starts in a 50 fly.
The multi-sport event is being hosted by Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. The controversy first hit the public sphere when a swimmer from a rival school, Jain University’s Prithvi Mahesh, posted a Facebook video in which two Panjab swimmers appeared to false start, but were not disqualified. One of the swimmers actually went on to win the bronze medal in the event. Mahesh spoke to The Times of India about the matter, alleging that Panjab was rigging the competition to favor its swimmers.
SwimSwam has received a copy of the video, which you can view below. It appears to show the swimmers in lanes 5 and 6 entering the water before any of the other swimmers have even left the blocks:
The 21-year-old Mahesh also alleged that meet organizers were “tampering with the lanes” to further advantage Panjab swimmers. An anonymous source also alleged in the Times of India piece that the groups for water polo group play had been specifically structured to help certain teams set up an easier road to the knockout rounds.
This comes just two weeks after the Inter-College Boxing Championship hosted at the same Panjab University had similar allegations of corruption, mostly centered around favoritism in scoring among the jury. Five different boxers refused to accept their gold medals in protest of what they considered unfair scoring.