Madhya Pradesh shooters participating in the 60th National Shotgun Championship in Jaipur were disqualified from the finals of the junior trap event due to a manufacturing defect in the ammunition they used.
Defending champion Manisha Keer and shooters Pragati Dubey and Sheetal had performed well after three rounds and had qualified for the finals among the top three spots.
However, all three were not allowed to compete in the finals as the ammunition they used, which was purchased from a renowned Italy-based company, failed to meet the standards of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
The company had also supplied ammunition to trap shooters in the Rio Olympics.
According to ISSF, the weight of the pellet load must not exceed 24.5g and each pellet must not exceed 2.6 mm diameter. “The weight of the pellets was according to standards, but when the pellet passed through the Pellet-gage of a 2.6 mm diameter, some were not up to the mark — they were not spherical,” MP State Shooting Academy technical advisor Mansher Singh said.
Some senior shooters were also on the verge of disqualification, but at the eleventh hour, Singh replaced their cartridges with those provided by NRAI.
Singh has objected to the disqualification of the three shooters from the junior event, stating that the defective ammunition was not their fault. “The disqualification is illogical because shooters are not allowed to check the pellets before the event. If a shooter checks the ammunition, he/she can be banned for life on the charges of tampering,” he said.
He has lodged a complaint with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and requested that the position of the MP shooters be reinstated so that they can participate in the selection trials for the national team. However officials said that even if the ammunition purchased fails the tests, the onus will be on shooter using it.
“The decision was taken according to the rules. In 2015 ISSF World Cup in Azerbaijan, Russia’s Elena Tkach was disqualified due to her cartridge being overweight. We can’t relax the rules. Even (national-level wrestler) Narsingh Yadav was doped by someone else, but he was the person penalised and was banned from participating in the Rio Olympics. Madhya Pradesh can question the suppliers and can impose a ban on them for future events,” NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia said.
Meanwhile, Keer bagged bronze medal in the seniors’ trap event.