No action against Rio-bound athletes issued show-cause notices by National Anti-doping Agency

Sankha Ghosh / 17 July 2016
No action against Rio-bound athletes issued show-cause notices by National Anti-doping Agency

This is the irony of Indian sports! No further action will be taken against the four Rio-bound athletes who were earlier issued show-cause notices by the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA) for whereabouts failure, confirmed Sports Authority of India director general Injeti Srinivas.

“I think this problem is behind us,” his justification was ridiculous. “In respect of two athletes to my knowledge there was some gap in the update (of whereabouts) which has since been clarified to NADA and they are satisfied with it.

“On a daily basis, the athlete has to update. Under extraordinary circumstances, it’s possible that they are not able to do it. In this case, the athletes have explained why they couldn’t update.”

Mr. Srinivas also sought to rule out speculation that two of the athletes were senior hockey players.

“Not hockey,” he said. “These were some players training individually. When you are practising in a camp, there is no problem with the whereabouts, because everybody is in the camp.”

A sportsperson should have missed at least three tests or have three whereabouts failures within a period of 12 months for a doping violation to be registered against him/her.

Earlier there were reports claiming two out of the three to be issued the notices were senior men hockey players who are part of the Olympic squad.

The third athlete was a thrower of the athletics contingent so was the fourth one who was set to be handed the notice.

While two of the Olympians failed to update their whereabouts information, the third one was not available at the place and time provided when testers went to collect samples. In fact, one of them has been found to have two instances of Whereabouts Failure.

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) director general Navin Agarwal also confirmed that three show-cause notices had been issued to members of India’s Olympic team.

Sportspersons whose names have been included in the testing pool have to show their whereabouts and they will have to be available for dope testing at the specified time and place mentioned by them.

The NADA director general, however, further confirmed that so far no Indian athlete bound for Rio had failed a dope test. Results of the samples collected during the athletic team’s training-cum-competition period in Spala, Poland, are still awaited.

The alarming fact is that India was ranked third among countries with doping rule violations behind Russia and Italy according to a list issued by WADA earlier this year.