The Commonwealth Games received a shock on Monday morning with the news that women's 100m winner, Osayemi Oludamola of Nigeria had tested positive for the stimulant, methylhexaneamine.
This is the first ‘positive' result from among the 950 tests conducted at the Games so far.
The news was announced by the Commonwealth Games Federation president, Michael Fennell at his routine press conference on Monday morning.
“We have unfortunately a positive result from among the 950 tests conducted so far and the 700 results passed on to us. This result involves the winner of the women's 100m — Osayemi Oludamola of Nigeria —and in accordance with our anti-doping code, the athlete has already been notified.
“She has asked for the testing of the ‘B' sample which will be done this morning. A hearing will be held later today and we will decide on the future course of action thereafter.”
Further, the CGF president, when asked whether the positive test would damage the image of the Games as it involved a flagship event, stated: “Any positive test is — whether in a high profile event or not — is something that is very much regretted. Because we all strive for a clean Games, sport and competition. One doesn't know the damage that will accrue but we want to let everyone know we are very vigilant and the testing at the lab here is of the highest standard.”
The women's 100m final, at the outset itself, has been mired in controversy.
Held on October 7, the race had seen the disqualification of Australian Sally Pearson after a protest and high drama. If the anti-doping rule violation charge is proved against Oludamola, the results of the race would naturally undergo another change, with Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and Grenadines, the current silver medal winner, being upgraded to the gold medal. That would be second ever Commonwealth Games gold medal for the country in the Caribbean.
Incidentally, Mayers herself had undergone a doping suspension between 2005 and 2007 for use of testosterone.
England's Katherine Endacott will get the silver then and Bertile Delphine Alangana (Cameroon), the bronze in case the results are revised.
Methylhexaneamine was at the centre of the recent doping scandals involving Indian sportspersons preparing for the Games.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) having shifted this substance from ‘non-specified' stimulants to ‘specified' category, to be effective from January 1, 2011, it had advised the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to apply the principle of ‘lex mitior' to deal with the Indian case.
The principle allows for the lenient punishment to be applied in case a rule had been changed. Accordingly, the provisional suspensions were lifted on the Indian sportspersons since the NADA rules do not have a provision for a provisional suspension for ‘specified substances'.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) rules, however, do have a provision for provisional suspension for ‘specified substance'.
The CGF rules also are in line with the WADA Code (2009 version) about a ‘mandatory provisional suspension' and it is to be presumed that such a suspension would be imposed on the Nigerian athlete as soon as a preliminary review is undertaken by the CGF and at least a provisional hearing granted to the athlete.
The sanction for a ‘specified substance' could range from a mere warning to two years suspension, but disqualification of results will follow in all cases if an anti-doping rule violation is established.