Chopra had to issue the clarification after a quote from his interview with the Times of India went viral on social media with many Indian users alleging that Pakistan javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem was tampering with Chopra's javelin in the final of the javelin throw event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In an interview with the Times of India, the newly-minted Olympic gold medalist had said that he couldn't find his javelin for his first throw in the final in Tokyo.
"I was searching for my javelin at the start of the final (in Olympics). I was not able to find it. Suddenly, I saw Arshad Nadeem was moving around with my javelin. Then I told him, 'Bhai give this javelin to me, it is my javelin! I have to throw with it'. He gave it back to me. That's why you must have seen I took my first throw hurriedly," Chopra told Times of India.
While Twitter users, accounts followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi among them, accused Nadeem of tampering with Chopra's javelin, right-wing website OpIndia insinuated that the allegations might have some truth in them given the history of Pakistani cricketers being accused of ball-tampering in cricket.In the video he posted on Twitter, Chopra said that his quote has been blown out of proportion.
"We can use our personal javelin during the competition. However, every thrower can also use the javelin and that is the rule. There is nothing wrong with it and he (Nadeem) was preparing with my javelin. I asked for the javelin for my throw and it's not a big deal. I am very sad that this is being blown out of proportion. I request everyone to not do this. Sports teaches us to be united and all of us javelin throwers are very friendly and cordial with each other. Please don't say anything which hurts us," Chopra said in the video.
In a follow-up tweet, Chopra said he was "extremely disappointed" to see the reactions to his comment and asked not to use him and his comment "as a medium to further your vested interests and propaganda".
Indian Express sports journalist Andrew Amsan spoke with a senior technical official who said that the rules stated that during the event, throwers are welcome to use any of the javelins that have been cleared for use.
"After submission the javelin is the event's property till it ends. Anyone can use it. After the event the athlete can take their equipment home," the official was quoted as saying.
Amsan also revealed that Chopra broke the World U20 record in 2016 with a javelin that did not belong to him.
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