Two members of the Indian athletics team have been expelled from the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast after a court hearing upheld their suspension breach of the competition’s ‘No Needles’ Policy.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Federation Court ruled that five individuals, including Indian Chef de Mission Vikram Singh Sisodia; General Team Manager, Namdev Shirgaonker; Athletics Team Manager, Ravinder Chaudhry; and two athletes, Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi, breached the no needles policy.
A cleaner found the needle in a cup on the bedside table in the apartment in the games village assigned to Babu, competing in the triple jump, and Thodi, a race walker.
An Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigator told the court a syringe was also found Babu’s bag in the bedroom.
Babu and Thodi denied all knowledge of the needle in the cup, buy the CGF Federation Court found that “further testimony of Rakesh Babu that he had no knowledge of the syringe found in his bag in Bedroom 2 are both unreliable and evasive”.
The Indian team’s three senior managers were reprimanded for their roles, while Babu and Thodi were banned from the games and told to leave Australia on the next flight home.
The Commonwealth Games close this Sunday evening after 11 days of competition.
Australia currently leads the medal tally with 161, followed by England with 91 and India with 35.
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