Former Chief Election Commissioner, TS Krishnamurthy, who headed the one-man inquiry committee to probe the controversy surrounding weightlifter Monika Devi's exclusion from the Beijing Olympic Games-bound squad, flayed the procedural delays by the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), even as he said there was no concrete evidence of any malafides on the part of any individual which the lifter had alleged.
Monika, who was not allowed to board the flight to Beijing after the NDTL report said she had tested positive for a 'banned substance', had alleged the Sports Authority of India had 'deliberate and malafide' intentions behind preventing her from participating in the Games.
In his report submitted to the Sports Ministry on Friday, Krishnamurthy said, "The whole controversy surrounding the episode could have been avoided had there been better management of the procedures for coaching camps, process of selection, testing of samples as well as communication of results thereof. I am left with the impression that at every stage… the urgency, transparency and sensitivity of the athletes concerned seem to have been put on the backburner and an ad hoc approach to the core issues was more evident. However, I must say, I did not come across any concrete evidence of any malafides on the part of any individual although I am clear that there was lack of unity of purpose among all these persons.”
Quoting the World Anti-Doping Agency Code that reporting of 'A' sample results should be done within 10 working days, he said, "In Monika's case, the sample taken on June 6 at Pune was received by NDTL on June 11. The report thereon was made available on July 10 with an analytical finding 'report will be submitted shortly'. Such a delay is unpardonable as it is not in the spirit of the WADA code."
Despite Krishnamurthy's exhaustive observations, the 19-page report remains inconclusive.