Shot putter Inderjeet Singh, who had tested positive for a banned substance, on Thursday, raised doubts about the working of the National Doping Testing Laboratory (NDTL) at a press conference on Thursday.
Inderjeet said that fresh tests done on the sample collected on June 29 had returned positive. However, when he had enquired from the medical committee appointed by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), its chairman had replied, “29/06/2016: Sample Code No: 6172967: In Competition: No banned substances detected.”
Arun Kumar Mendiratta, chairman of the AFI medical committee, had said this in his reply to a query by Inderjeet, where he had requested the national athletics body to provide him results of all six samples taken between April 28 and July 11, 2016.
However, a fresh notice received by the shot putter from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on August 8 said that “he’d be charged with a violation of the NADA’s anti-doping rules (2.1) after results from the same sample (6172967) showed traces of anabolic steroid.
What gives further credence to the thrower’s ‘tampering theory’ is that he received another correspondence from the AFI on August 10, where they also sent a report from the NDTL which says that no banned substances were detected from the same sample.
Inderjeet, armed with fresh evidence, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. “I request our Hon’ble PM to intervene and send me to Rio. My competition is on August 18 and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to represent my country,” he said.
“From the very first day, I have been saying that this is a conspiracy, and now certain new things have come to light that indicate the same,” he added.
NADA, however, junked the conspiracy theory. “His sample from June 29 showed atypical findings. So, it was further analysed and subsequently it showed adverse report. There is no conspiracy,” a source close to the proceedings said.
What prompted NDTL to re-test the samples isn’t clear, but it may be in violation of the World Anti-Doing Agency’s guideline 6.5. “Any sample may be subject to further analysis by the anti-doping organisation responsible for results management at any time before both the A and B sample analytical results (or A Sample result where B Sample analysis has been waived or will not be performed) have been communicated by the anti-doping organisation to the athlete,” the guideline states.