Four wrestlers, who were part of the Commonwealth Games squad, have tested positive and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Thursday provisionally suspended them.
This comes barely a week after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) bailed out the weightlifters by giving an interest-free loan to the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) to pay off fines due to doping sanctions.
A dejected WFI president G.S. Mander said that three men’s freestyle and one female wrestler tested positive during the August 8-9 trials and in an emergency meeting on Thursday the WFI decided to provisionally suspend the four wrestlers.
The tainted wrestlers are Sumit (74kg), Mausam Khatri (96kg) and Rajiv Tomar (120kg) in men’s freestyle and the lone women wrestler is Gursharanpreet Kaur (72kg).
The wrestlers tested positive for a banned substance called Methylhexanamine. The tests were part of routine random testing by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in the run-up to the Games.
The suspended wrestlers can appeal against the result, but the WFI had to name their replacements since Thursday was the last date for official entries of participants.
“During the trials we tested all the probables and these four wrestlers tested positive. The Methylhexanamine is a stimulant and it is easily available at medical stores. Now we have sent them a notice and we will take necessary action against them,” Mander told IANS.
Mander said that in the last four years, since Sushil Kumar’s bronze in Beijing Olympics, Indian wrestling has come a long way and WFI is trying its best to keep the sport dope-free.
“We have adopted a strict policy against doping. The WFI has conducted several out-of-competition testing this year and only these four have tested positive. We have come down hard on cheaters,” said Mander.
The replacements are Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg), Anil Mann (96kg) and Praveen (120kg) in the freestyle section and Anshu Tomar (72kg) in the women’s section. India named 21 wrestlers, including seven women, for the Commonwealth Games.