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Suspect substances might be vitamins: Report

Syringes, vials and suspected performance-enhancing substances discovered in athletes' accommodation at the Australian Institute of Sport might have been vitamins, The Australian reported.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 12:34 IST

Syringes, vials and suspected performance-enhancing substances discovered in athletes' accommodation at the Australian Institute of Sport might have been vitamins, The Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency is analysing pills and equipment found by cleaners at the Canberra-based AIS in the rooms where Australian weightlifters had prepared for the Commonwealth Games.

Federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp today declined to comment on the substances being tested before getting "formal advice" back from ASADA.

Kemp did confirm that injecting vitamins was not illegal for athletes.

"There has been a debate on this issue— the AIS policy does not encourage injection of vitamins," he said. "If there is, it's to be done under medical supervision.

"Let's wait and see what the findings are. I don't want to pre-empt the findings."

Kemp said regardless of the outcome from the AIS probe, the exercise showed Commonwealth Games organizers and Australian authorities had comprehensive anti-doping arrangements.

"If there are drug cheats at the Commonwealth Games, they will be discovered," he said.

The head of the Australian weightlifting team said he was confident all team members were drug free.

Australia's Commonwealth Games chef de mission John Devitt said all the weightlifters were claiming to be innocent.

"They've always believed that what was there in Canberra was nothing to do with them," he said.

"Whether they are exonerated, that's what the inquiry is there to do."

Kemp had earlier confirmed that cleaners discovered the syringes on Tuesday in several rooms at the Canberra complex where Australian weightlifters had stayed and the pills were found following a forensic search on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Games weightlifting started on Thursday, with golds going to India and Malaysia. Australia's Erika Yamasaki won bronze in the women's 48-kilogram division.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 12:34 IST