Shot putter Inderjeet Singh became the second Rio Olympics-bound Indian athlete to fail an out-of-competition dope test , days after wrestler Narsingh Yadav was caught for doping.
Singh’s ‘A’ sample returned positive for a banned substance in the test that was conducted on June 22. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), India’s anti-doping agency, has given the Haryana athlete a week to get another test done, reports said.
If his second sample is also found to be positive, he will have to sit out the Olympics that begin August 5 and may be banned for four years under new World Anti-Doping Agency code.
The 28-year-old said on Tuesday there was a conspiracy against him for being critical of the authorities.
Here is a look at Singh’s background:
Excelled at University Games
Singh is the only Indian athlete to win gold in the World University Games. He achieved the feat in 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea, with a throw of 20.27m. He won a bronze medal in the previous edition of the games held in Kazakhstan.
Singh qualified for the Rio Olympics with a personal best throw of 20.65m at the 19th Federation Cup held at Mangalore’s Mangala Stadium last year. His previous best was the 21.41 m that was achieved at the 2015 Asian Championship.
Part of Centre’s ambitious scheme
Singh, a 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist, is part of the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme, an initiative of the central government to identify and support potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
The funding allowed the Punjab-born shot-putter to train in the United States, under his coaches Pritam Singh and former champion Shakti Singh.
The ministry earlier objected to the idea but came around later.
Earlier in June, Hindustan Times reported that the Singh was refraining from sharing his training and residential details with NADA. Singh is said to have avoided the anti-doping agency since January this year.
According to WADA, an athlete has to inform the respective national anti-doping body of their whereabouts for effective out-of-competition testing guidelines.
He, however, refuted the allegation, saying he appeared for tests at least 10 times in the last one year.
“I wish to notify you that the NADA conducted a dope test on May 26 this year in Bhiwani. Before this, I was also tested after my event at the Senior Federation National Athletics Championship in April. Last year I was tested almost 10 times and each available for the same,” Inderjeet wrote in his response to the HT story.
“I would also wish to add that I have never received a warning about my whereabouts and have always been available for random as well as competition dope testing. The article has questioned my integrity which I have painstakingly earned over the last 15 years of my sporting career…,” he added.