K.P. Mohan

NEW DELHI: Kerala's woman quarter-miler Jasmin Joseph and Uttar Pradesh's javelin thrower Gajendra Singh are among nine sportspersons who tested positive for prohibited substances during the National Games at Guwahati last month.

Jasmin won the 400 metres gold while Gajendra took the javelin silver in the Games.

Two weightlifters and two boxers and a competitor each in cycling, wrestling and kabaddi, apart from the two athletes, tested positive at the Guwahati Games. Compared to the 22 who came positive on the last occasion in Hyderabad, the latest figures show an appreciable drop, but only 257 samples were tested this time compared to 464 in 2002 when the tests were done at home.

All but one of the nine competitors, who have been charged, appeared before the panel on Friday. They were told about their right to seek the `B' sample test and asked to come back once they decided about the course of action.

Since the dope tests this time were done at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Bangkok, the `B' tests, if demanded, will also be done at the same lab. The competitors have been told that the tests would be done at their cost.

Sticking to the rules

The IOA panel is apparently sticking to the WADA rules in every detail and by conveying the provisions regarding the right of the athlete to seek a `B' sample test and then adjourning the process for a week, it wants to ensure that there would be no loopholes for anyone to exploit in the coming weeks.

By sending the samples to the Bangkok laboratory the IOA has made its intentions clear this time.

There could be no arguments about the validity of the tests. Moreover, transparency would be maintained throughout the process since WADA and the international federations concerned would be fully aware of the positive tests through the laboratory and they would be in a position to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in case there was a difference of opinion about the eventual sanction.

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