Miffed at Sports Authority of India's (SAI) revelation that Army Sports Institute (ASI) weightlifter Harpreet Singh was caught in doping, commandant of the Pune-based Olympic medal 'nursery' Col Satpal Ahlawat on Thursday said SAI "violated" the WADA rules in disclosing it to the media.
Claiming that it's a "malafide intention" of some people, Ahlawat said SAI should have informed us prior to disclosing it to the media.
"Obviously they (SAI) have flouted the WADA guidelines, that shows that there's some malafide intention behind it. However, we'll cooperate with the inquiry fully; Harpreet will be punished if found guilty. There'll be a detailed inquiry by the result management committee where he (Harpreet) will be given a chance to put up his case," Ahlawat said.
Strongly denying that the latest dope flunk will tarnish the image of the institute established with an aim to produce Olympic medals for India, Ahlawat said, "I've not done any crime to recruit the promising lifter."
"Harpreet is currently ranked No 1 in the youth Commonwealth Games list. Having seen him doing well at the Patiala camp, we brought him. He's a civilian, and is currently under the evaluation period of ASI," he added.
Ahlawat further said that ASI has always been cooperative in terms of dope testing.
"We're always open to this. In fact, I was the one to provide an additional four samples (to the SAI) before the national camp. It's we, who have opted for this testing as I've no facility here. I've always voiced for pre-tournament testing. But getting caught in no way tarnishes the image. Even Marion Jones tested positive," Ahlawat remarked.
The Punjab lifter, Harpreet (85kg), has returned positive test for steroid nandrolone in the samples collected by the SAI laboratory here.
Under the latest IWF dope policy, Harpreet will be handed automatic provisional two-year ban though he has the right to ask for his 'B' sample test. If the 'B' sample also tests positive his two-year ban will be confirmed.
Harpreet is the third weightlifter from ASI to be tested positive.
In 2006, ASI lifters Edwin Raju (Commonwealth Games, Melbourne) and G Damodaran (Senior National, Vishakhapatnam) had tested positive to banned anabolic steroid Stanozolol.