A silly mistake on part of the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) could have shown India in a bad light at the World Junior Athletics Championships at Bydgoszcz, Poland. The AFI selected Gaurav Yadav, a javelin thrower, who was called back in the nick of time, after a NADA report confirmed he had failed a dope test.
NADA, it is learnt, had collected urine sample of Yadav in May, but the adverse analytical report came after the athlete had left for the world meet. Yadav was ordered to return as soon as the federation received a detailed report from the testing agency. Yadav has been provisionally suspended for four years.
The meet started Tuesday and will conclude Sunday. Qualification round in javelin will start Friday. Since Yadav’s name was withdrawn, India will field only Neeraj Chopra in the event.
The tainted athlete had participated in the Asian junior meet held at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from June 3 to 6. Yadav finished outside the medal round with a throw of 69.61m. Neeraj Chopra, the other thrower, won silver throwing 77.60m. A Sports Authority of India (SAI) official said, “No one knew about the result of the urine sample taken for testing three months back.”
At the national level, Yadav leads throwers in the boys under-20 group. In 2015, he won gold for India in the world school games held at Wuhan, China. Now he may face serious repercussions as his past performances have also come under scanner after his failed test.
Meanwhile, on the opening day of the meet, India’s best bet among the women -- Jisna Mathew, a 400m athlete -- was disqualified for changing her lane. Mathew is a trainee of the PT Usha School of Athletics.