Security not compromised insists Coe as mystery woman with Indian team identified
Sunday, 29 July 2012
July 29 - London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe has promised he will be speaking to the Indian delegation after they expressed their frustration at a woman walking alongside their flag-bearer, wrestler Sushil Kumar, during the athletes' parade at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday (July 27).
The mystery woman has now been identified as Madhura Honey (pictured above, right), a post-graduate student from Bangalore now living in London, who was one of 7,500 volunteers taking part in the spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
Dressed in a red shirt and blue trousers, Honey marched next to the weightlifter, a bronze medallist at Beijing four years ago, despite having no visible accreditation.
She reportedly displayed her Olympics accreditation passes on her Facebook page but has since deactivated the account following the controversy, which has dominated headlines in India.
Coe admitted that she should not have been there but played down the security risk posed by the incident.
"She was a cast member," Coe explained today.
"We had in fairness suspected that she was probably and possibly a member of the cast.
"Clearly she got slightly over-excited.
"She shouldn't have entered, she shouldn't have been there but she clearly started in that vein and yes, I will be speaking to the Indian delegation about it.
"She couldn't have got in to the Opening Ceremony without having gone through all our security protocols.
"She shouldn't have been in the Opening Ceremony but don't run away with the idea that she sort of walked in off the street."
A total of 40 Indian athletes and 11 officials dressed in traditional blazers and Rajasthani yellow turbans or yellow sarees marched in the Opening Ceremony, earning one of the biggest cheers of the evening in a show that has been hailed around the world but the Indian team remain angry about the incident.
"It was a security lapse," said Indian Olympic Association (IOA) vice-president Tarlochan Singh.
"She walked along in the front line.
"Her dress was totally different.
"She was not wearing an identity card.
"This should have been noticed at an earlier stage, but nobody bothered."
India's acting Chef de Mission PK Muralidharan Raja has also expressed his frustration once again.
"This was bizarre," said Raja, who took over as Chef de Mission on the eve of the Opening Ceremony after Ajit Pal Singh, the original choice, was unable to travel here due to a serious back problem.
"We will ask for an apology.
"The Indian contingent was shown for just 10 seconds and to think this lady hogged all the limelight."
July 2012: Indians upset by mystery woman marching alongside them in Opening Ceremony