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Over-cautious AFI delays naming team

india Updated: Aug 20, 2011 00:03 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times
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Yet to recover from the embarrassment caused by the string of doping cases, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is in no mood to take chances.

While the caution is understandable, the approach has led to a delay in naming the squad for the World Championships, which gets underway at the South Korean city of Daegu from August 27.

Though the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) discourages nations from screening its athletes before international meets, the AFI had carried out tests prior to the Asian Championships in Japan last month, and repeated the procedure early last week.

An eight-member squad is scheduled to represent the country at the Worlds, but the delay in obtaining sample results has prevented the AFI from making the list official for the event, which is also a London 2012 qualifier.

Another factor contributing to the delay is the athletes' presence across the country. As a result, out-of-competition tests by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) are still underway.

Interestingly, despite not getting the official nod, Gurmeet Singh reached Daegu on Tuesday and the national champion in 20km walk, who tested negative, had his coach to thank for the initiative.

"Gurmeet's coach requested us to send him in advance so that he could acclimatise and prepare better," said ML Dogra, AFI director, who hinted that the list could be out by Monday.