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No chance for tainted athletes

other Updated: Sep 29, 2010 00:17 IST
Indraneel Das
Indraneel Das
Hindustan Times
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Apart from Saurabh Vij, the shot putter, no other athlete -- six wrestlers and two swimmers -- will be able to participate at the Commonwealth Games even though the World Anti-Doping Agency has allowed them to participate.

The National Anti-Doping Agency, who slapped a provisional suspension on the athletes who tested positive for methylhexaneamine, lifted it after WADA had shifted the banned substance from the specified to unspecified list for next year.

Even after WADA saying: “If the provisional suspension has been lifted, the athletes are not suspended anymore, and if Commonwealth Games allows them WADA sees no impediment to their participation,” they are still not in contention. Event NADA director general, Rahul Bhatnagar, said the athletes were eligible for selection.

However, the wrestling and the swimming federations, who had named replacements for the athletes, said they would not send in their names again. While Wrestling Federation of India president GS Mandher said there was no question of removing the replacements so close to the Games, the Swimming Federation of India secretary Virender Nanvati said if required it would make a request for new entries.

The wrestlers felt they should have been considered for selection again. “The process is not over yet,” said Mandher. “NADA has given us another hearing date on October 21. Till then we will not take the athletes back.”

Mandher also said that the athletes were already in the Village, and they would not be replaced at this hour. “The four wrestlers (including one woman), have missed practice as well.”

The wrestlers on the other hand, said they were happy to appear another trial, if and when required.

The swimming federation secretary said that they would sort this out with the Indian Olympic Association and the Commonwealth Games Federation. “At world championships and the Olympics we are not allowed to change the names after the final date of submissions of athletes’,” said Nanavati. “Moreover, the Games are too close now.”

The Athletics Federation of India, however, did not replace the shot-putter. Interestingly, four out of five Jamaicans who tested positive for the same substance were handed a four-month suspension even though the substance was not on the Prohibited List in 2009.