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Mystery surrounds Seema's arrival at Doha

Seema Antil is arriving in Doha on Friday but her participation in the competition is suspicious.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 13:04 IST

Discus thrower Seema Antil, who tested positive for a banned drug in out-of-competition tests conducted by the Sports Authority of India, is to reach in Doha on Friday, though confirmation about her participation in the Asian Games was not forthcoming.

"As per my knowledge she's reaching Doha today and so is Lalit Bhanot (Secretary General of Athletics Federation of India)," Ramlal Thakur, the Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent, said.

However, Thakur was unable to throw light on whether the Haryana-based athlete intended to take part in the athletics events that commenced on Friday.

"I can't say whether she will take part," was his answer to a specific query from PTI on the matter.

The women's discus throw final is slated to be held on December 11, 2006.

The 23-year-old athlete, who won the silver medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March this year, had returned early from the athletes' pre-Games training camp at Muscat.

According to Bhanot, she came back due to her father's ill health.

"It is difficult for me to comment on this at the moment. I can't say anything right now," Bhanot had said in Delhi on Monday, a day after the scandal broke.

"We have nothing to hide. The tests were conducted by us only and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) does not come into the picture here. We will tell everyone when we get the results," Bhanot had said.

"There is nothing I can tell you at the moment. As soon as we are in a position to provide any more details to you, we would communicate the same to you," he had commented.

The AFI official also maintained that Seema's name was still in the participants' list in Doha. "Seema is very much on my list for Doha, as of now," Bhanot had said.

Seema is a past drug offender and had tested positive after winning the gold medal at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Chile in 2000 and was stripped of her title.

The AFI had announced before the Doha Games it had made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the country did not have to face the dope shame, which has become a regular feature during major sporting events nowadays.

Bhanot had said athletes were made aware of what they could take and what they could not. Regular testing was also done to prevent cheaters from boarding the flight to Doha, he had said.