'Kalmadi, Bhanot may be questioned on dope fiasco'
New Delhi: Justice Mukul Mudgal, who was appointed by the sports ministry to probe into the athletics doping fiasco, on Saturday said that jailed Commonwealth Games Organising Committee officials Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot may be questioned in connection with the scandal.
The former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mudgal made it clear that he would investigate into the roles of not only the athletes, doctors and coaches but also the officials, including Kalmadi and Bhanot, if required.
Kalmadi is the lifetime president of Athletics Federation of India while Bhanot is the Secretary.
"Let me see what the scope to the inquiry blossom. On Saturday I can't say but I will certainly examine all facets, all the kind of officials involved and you know it's not a judicial committee, it's a fact finding committee so somebody has to cooperate with me voluntarily," Mudgal said when asked whether the likes of Kalmadi and Bhanot might also be interviewed in connection to the doping scandal.
"I also have to see whether the athletes are victims of ignorance or they have been duped into having these things. Whether somebody is giving them the supplements, which are contaminated, whether there are not enough supplements in the Sports Authority of India (SAI). These are the factors. I will be interviewing everybody, calling all such people, officials who are set to be involved," he told CNN-IBN.
Mudgal has been asked by the Ministry to find reasons for rampant doping and submit a report within six weeks and the retired Justice said he would visit NIS Patiala before starting the proceedings.
"Exactly what is happening can only be circumstantial now after the event but there are allegations of easy sale of supplements, easy sale of drugs, which are got to be looked into. There are two doctors who worked in the SAI, who have said something ... whether these allegations are correct or not," said Mudgal.
"I intend to visit Patiala on Wednesday and start the hearing on Monday. I will also visit the other SAI offices," he said.
Eight track and field athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids in one of the worst doping scandals in the country and six of them trained at the NIS Patiala.
Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji, who were part of the 4x400m relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year, and three other quartermilers Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar, were training at NIS when they were caught for doping.
Of the other two dope-tainted athletes, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan trained at Pune while Sonia was not in any national camp.
Mudgal said he will also look into whether the prohibited drugs which were found in the urine samples of the athletes have been publicised or not.
"It is possible all these allegations which are being made are true but at the moment they are in the realm of allegation and what is also required to be found out is whether the prohibited drugs have been publicised enough.
"You would recollect that lot of our wrestlers, some of the athletes are not well educated and to understand what salt is banned it is necessarily publicised. And we have just heard somebody saying that food supplements are contaminated. So that is also got to be looked into."
When asked whether he would also examine the allegations that doping has been going in Indian sports for long, Mudgal insisted that he would broadly examine the cases of the last 10 years.
"In the time frame provided to look back in the decade perhaps may not be easy but at least for last 2-9 years I will certainly try to look into and also broadly examine the ten-year old allegations," he said.