NEW DELHI: Mr. T. S. Krishna Murthy, who conducted an enquiry into the Monika Devi “doping episode”, has advised that the weightlifter’s ‘B’ sample be tested in an accredited laboratory abroad.
“Should the athlete test positive in the test of ‘B’ sample, she has to face the consequences. On the other hand, if the test confirms her innocence, she needs to be adequately and suitably compensated,” Mr. Krishna Murthy wrote in his 19-page report submitted to the Union Sports Minister, M. S. Gill, on Friday.
In a prompt move, Mr. Gill directed his officers to post the complete report on the ministry’s website www.yas.nic.in and also released it to the media.
While noting that a controversy could have been avoided had there been a “better management of the procedures”, the report found no mala fide on the part of any individual concerned with the procedures.
Mr. Krishna Murthy was, however, critical of the delay in the reporting procedures of the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) that led to Monika being confronted with a ‘positive’ test just before her scheduled departure for Beijing to compete in the Olympic Games.
Eventually, her name was withdrawn by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from the 69-kg competition on the basis of a report forwarded by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the IOA tried to re-enter her name without success. Monika had alleged that there was a “conspiracy” against her and the IWF supported her and even ‘exonerated’ her through a panel headed by a doctor belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) where the Manipur lifted is employed.
There are no details about the ‘exoneration’ procedures adopted by the IWF in the Krishna Murthy panel report, though it states: “Her having been cleared by the IWF on August 9, 2008, was also too late for the IOA to act, especially when the earlier dope test was found to be positive.”
Mr. Krishna Murthy went into the issue of procedures only and was not required to determine whether the ‘positive’ report by the NDTL was correct, or whether the subsequent action by the IWF and IOA were tenable.
Four of Monika’s urine samples were tested and the June 6 sample came back ‘positive’, though at first this was reported only as ‘suspicious’, according to the enquiry report.
The report, dated July 10, only stated “report will be submitted shortly”, Mr. Krishna Murthy noted.
Mr. Krishna Murthy stated that the delay (of up to July 10) of an initial report on the June 6 sample was “unpardonable”.
“Had the testing been done within the stipulated time and the result thereof been communicated immediately thereafter, the disappointment and the mental shock the athlete had by the sudden and abrupt communication, especially through the media first, could have been easily avoided,” the report said.