IOA refuses to be sympathatic to athletes

New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association on Friday suspected that Sports Authority of India officials may be involved in the recent dope scandal, involving the top athletes, and vowed not to help the guilty this time around.

Vijay Kumar Malhotra, IOA acting president, lashed out at both the athletes, who flunked dope tests, and the SAI officials, who were in charge of the training camps.

"Some sportspersons have brought shame to the country and it is not acceptable. We want sports to be drug free, India is a party to the International Charter on this issue.”

"What the officials responsible for training and coaching of the sports persons in sports Authority of India centres were doing," Malhotra said in a statement.

"What was shocking was that it was International agency (WADA) which first caught the tainted athletes. Only later our domestic agency NADA swung into action," he added.

IOA has demanded that Sports Authority of India come out with full facts on this "sordid issue" and what action it was proposing against its own officials who are responsible for running the camps.

Malhotra said the country had to pay huge amount to the IOC to get the ban lifted on the weightlifters on the eve of Commonwealth Games but said it will not be the case anymore.

"If some sports persons and officials think that that is the precedent, they are mistaken. For long Indian sports has suffered because of the emotional blackmail by the players and officials but no longer," he said.

IOA also demanded a comprehensive inquiry into the alleged nexus between the medicine (drug) suppliers, coaches, doctors, other officials along with involved sportspersons.

"IOA is not taking the issue lightly, nor it will sweep the matter under carpet because some potential medal winners are involved," the statement said.

Six track and field athletes, including two Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallists, flunked dope tests for anabolic steroids in just two days.

Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, both members of the Indian women`s 4x400m relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year, quarter-milers Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas, long jumper Hari Krishnan and shot putter Sonia were caught for doping.

Mandeep and Jauna flunked out-of-competition tests conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations at NIS Patiala last month while Sini, Mary Thomas, Hari Krishnan and Sonia returned positive in in-competition tests by NADA during June 11-14 Senior National Inter-state Athletics Meet in Bangalore.

Jauna also failed the test conducted by NADA in Bangalore.

All the six athletes have been provisionally suspended till their disciplinary hearings are completed and quantum of punishments decided.


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