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Doping aftermath: Now, SAI panel looks for scapegoat

india Updated: Jul 08, 2011 01:38 IST
Navneet Singh

As always, the Sports Authority of India, instead of addressing the larger issue of doping, has taken action against some officials whose roles in the whole episode is negligible.

While giving a clean chit to chief national coach, Bahadur Singh, and NIS, Patiala, executive director, LS Ranawat, without whose knowledge nothing should budge, two staff members of the girls hostel - a warden and a caretaker - have been held responsible.

SAI director-general, Desh Deepak Verma, confirmed this on Thursday, saying, "Sunita Bedi (caretaker) has been transferred, while Kalpana Debnath (warden), has been withdrawn from her post."

Medical expert at NIS, Patiala, M Bhattacharya, has also been served a show-cause notice.

SAI's baffling move is not limited to just this. Even the head of the fact-finding panel is SAI's executive director (Teams) PC Kashyap --- the same person who is responsible for the conduct of the camps.

No senior official has been held responsible for allowing the foreign coach to distribute supplements to athletes. Going by the rule, the foreign coach is not authorised to give supplements or medicines without the knowledge of the higher authorities and doctors.

Two national-level coaches associated with the women's 400m squad have also been held responsible for the fiasco. While RS Sidhu has been suspended, N Ramesh has been given a milder punishment. "A show-cause notice will be served to Ramesh after he is back from Kobe, Japan," the director-general said. In Bangalore, where two junior lifters failed dope tests, the services of lifting coach, Naveen Kumar, has been terminated. The SAI director-general said that in future doping incidents, the entire team, including accompanying officials, will be held responsible.

Judge to probe
AFP adds: The sports ministry appointed a retired judge to head an inquiry into the scandal. Mukul Mudgal will "enquire into the role of agencies involved, if any, and suggest remedial measures to improve the protocols of dope testing and its integrity," the ministry said. He is expected to report back within six weeks.