As if the financial scams related to the Commonwealth Games were not enough, it emerged on Thursday that eight Indian sportspersons — six wrestlers and two athletes — had tested positive for banned substances. Four of the six wrestlers and one of the two athletes had been selected to represent India at the Games.
"It is very unfortunate such an incident has happened at this time," said Lalit Bhanot, Games Organising Committee secretary-general and spokesperson. "Our endeavour has always been to conduct dope-free Games and dope cheats will not be spared."
The dope testing on wrestlers was conducted during the selection trials on August 8 and 9. All offenders have been provisionally suspended.
The National Anti-Doping Agency, which conducted the testing, received the results from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory on Wednesday. Rahul Bhatnagar, NADA director-general, said: "We passed them on to the federations and provisional bans have been imposed as per the WADA rule."
The wrestlers have tested positive for a non-specified substance called methylhexaneamine. It is among the list of banned prescription drugs, but is called a 'party pill', which, according to former head of the department of sports medicine, National Institute of Sports, Patiala, Ashok Ahuja, improves speed and reaction time of athletes.
"We are shocked," said Kartar Singh, Wrestling Federation secretary. "We have replaced the wrestlers."
The three male wrestlers who were part of the Commonwealth team from India were Sumit, Mossam Khatri and Rajiv Tomar. They have been replaced by Narsingh Yadav, Anil Mann and Praveen in their respective categories.
Female grappler Gursharanpreet Kaur has been replaced by Anshu Tomar.
Even the Athletics Federation of India has banned the two (Sourav Vij and Akash Antil) who have tested positive during the Inter-State Nationals in Patiala last month.