Written byAnjana Raghav ·
The Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games was today left thoroughly embarrassed after race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi and triple jumper V Rakesh babu were ordered to head back home.
According to Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), they violated the event's 'no needle policy'.
However, the Indian Olympic Association vowed to challenge the decision even as the athletics federation set up a probe panel.
"The accreditation of Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi was suspended with effect from 09:00 hours on April 13, 2018. Both athletes were removed from the Games Village," CGF President Louise Martin said in a strongly-worded statement.
"We have asked the Commonwealth Games Association of India to ensure both athletes depart Australia on the first flight available," it added.
The CGF court found the testimonies given by a cleaner-manager and the Australian Anti-Doping Authority Principal Investigator were credible.
But that of the athletes, who denied all knowledge of needles in a cup in Bedroom 2 and in Rakesh's bag, are both unreliable, it said.
Athletes are barred from using syringes unless there is prior declaration, or it is declared within 24-hours of usage.
The "embarrassed" Athletics Federation of India (AFI) promised action. "There will be an inquiry after the Games is over and it will be time-bound. The panel will be appointed after the Games," AFI Secretary CK Valson said.
This was the second needle controversy in the ongoing CWG in which India got itself tangled.
Earlier, an unidentified boxer ended with a reprimand on the eve of the Games for not following due procedure in disposing of a used syringe.
The CGF had cleared India of any declaration violation at that time.
While Irfan is already through with his 20km race walk event, finishing 13th, the 28-year-old Rakesh Babu was to participate in today's triple jump final after qualifying 12th for the competition but was ruled out last night owing to a knee injury.
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