New Delhi: Indian shot putter Inderjeet Singh, who returned positive for banned substances last month, today alleged that his dope samples might have been tampered with as the National Anti-Doping Agency gave him two different results on the same sample collected on June 29, a claim denied by the NADA.
Inderjeet, one of the 36 Indian track and field athletes who qualified for the ongoing Rio Olympics, circulated documents at a press conference which showed that the National Dope Testing Laboratory had given two different results of the A sample taken on June 29 during the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Hyderabad.
The 'Analytical Report' of sample A of June 29, bearing sample code 6172967, said that there was 'no banned substances detected' and it was signed by NDTL Scientific Director Alka Beotra, dated July 11, 2016.
Another 'Analytical Report of the sample A of June 29, bearing same sample code 6172967, was shown to have traces of banned substances and it was signed by the same NDTL Scientific Director, with date of August 4, 2016.
"There has been a conspiracy to frame me, to bring disrepute to me and to stop me from going to the Olympics. I will fight this case till the end. How can the same laboratory give two different results on the same sample bearing the same sample code? This is a farce," Inderjeet told reporters.
NADA Director General Navin Agarwal refuted Inderjeet's claim, saying that the NDTL's reports were consistent as the first one (which said there was no banned substance) was a preliminary report while the second (which showed the presence of banned substance) was the final report of the test on the same sample.
"Where is the discrepency? The NDTL can give two reports, one preliminary and the other final. The preliminary report may say there was no banned substance. It (the preliminary) is a test of limited scope. It may not detect some substance. The final test may detect banned substances because it's a more detailed analysis and more sophistaicated," Agarwal told PTI.
"NDTL is a WADA-accredited laboratory and it is upto international standards. I see no inconsistency in the two reports regarding the June 29 sample results. Moreover, this June 29 result is irrelevant as he tested positive in the June 22 sample. That dope failure (of June 22 sample) stands," he added.
Inderjeet was tested seven times this year and his sample of June 29 had returned positive (both A and B samples) which has resulted him to be barred from boarding the Rio bus. But he claimed that since the June 29 test result was unreliable as it has returned with two different results, his June 22 sample must also have been tampered with.
Interestingly, the Athletics of Federation of India had also informed Inderjeet in an e-mail communication that his June 29 test result was negative. AFI gave this information to Inderjeet on his request.
"Either they have tested my A sample twice (June 29 sample) which under international rules is illegal since that needs consent of the athlete concerned which NADA has not asked from me. Since, the June 29 dope test result has discrepency, the June 22 results (which returned posotive in both A and B samples) were also unreliable. So, I will contest that result (of June 22) before the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel," he added.
Inderjeet was told on July 25 that he had failed a dope test regarding the sample taken at Bhiwani on June 22 and that virtually ended his Rio dreams. It will be very difficult for him to compete in Rio though the shot put event is scheduled for August 18 as the technical committee meeting has ended yesterday to chalk out the final competition schedule.
But, he is still hopeful and said that he will appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi so that his case at the NADA Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel is expedited like in the case of wrestler Narsingh Yadav.
"I am still hopeful of taking part in the Olympics and want to make the country proud with my performance. I appeal to the Prime Minister to look into my case. I hope just like in the case of Narsingh Yadav, I will get justice and will be able to take part in the Olympics," he added.
Head of Anglian Medal Hunt, which is supporting Inderjeet, Manish said that the shot putter will make a request to the NADA Panel to have a hearing in the next couple of days and expedite his case.
"In the meantime, we will try to build up pressure through the media first to expedite his case so that he can take part in the Olympics."