My life under threat: whistleblower doctor in doping scandal

My life under threat: whistleblower doctor in doping scandal

"I am not an anti-social element and do not have any tainted past, then why are they stopping me from entering the NIS campus?" Nandi asked.

"They threatened me and said 'tujhe to baad mein bahar bhi dekh lenge' (We will deal with you outside the campus). My life is under threat. I am very afraid," Nandi told IANS.
Nandi, a former medical officer at NIS-Patiala, had come to the campus to meet retired chief justice Mukul Mudgal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, appointed by the sports ministry to probe doping by athletes - a scandal that hit the headlines last month and has rocked Indian sports.

But he claims to have been roughed up by the institute's securitymen and thrown out of the campus. 

"Top officials of the SAI (Sports Authority of India) and NIS do not want me to meet the inquiry officer as they are afraid that many scams will come to light after my meeting," Nandi told IANS.

"Security in-charge Sinder Pal confronted me and said I could not enter. When I asked him to show written orders, he started hurling blows at me and pushed me. His subordinates also joined him; one of them held my hands and others thrashed me," he added.

Nandi says he has prepared a presentation, showing how doping is going on systematically inside NIS-Patiala. He wanted to show it to Mudgal who was at the NIS campus for over two hours, talking to officials and athletes.

"I have worked at NIS Patiala for 15 years. Based on my own experiences and things that came across, I have made a presentation on how doping has been prevalent inside NIS for many years. I wanted to show it and hand over some documents personally to justice Mudgal as I have no trust in anyone else," said Nandi.

He says he was roughed up. "Many senior officials of NIS were present, but remained mute spectators," he said.

He says this was the third attack on him inside the NIS campus in three years.
"Earlier I was attacked in July 2009, when I had come to collect data regarding doping and corruption, information that I had got through RTI. Somebody hit me on my head from behind and I was lying unconscious on the ground. I had to spend five days in hospital after that. Though I registered a police complaint, no action was taken," said Nandi.

Nandi says NIS officials want him to stay away from the campus and therefore threaten him and level false allegations.

Nandi had joined NIS-Patiala in 1990. He was transferred to Bangalore in 2005 after a NIS psychologist accused him of sexual harassment, but he did not comply with the orders. At present he neither stands dismissed nor suspended, but is not allowed to draw a salary or permitted to work in the campus.

"They transferred me on frivolous grounds, so I did not accept this. If I was wrong then they should have taken action against me. But they have neither suspended me nor dismissed me so far because they have no valid reason. They tried to implicate me in false cases of sexual harassment and corruption, but Patiala police have given me a clean chit," said Nandi.

Nani was amongst the first to raise a finger at NIS Patiala saying systematic doping is going on inside the campus for many years. He had tried to highlight the same issue earlier as well.

Eight Indian athletes had recently tested positive for taking banned performance enhancing drugs. Quarter-milers Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose, Juana Murmu, Priyanka Pawar and Tiana Mary Thomas, shot-putter Sonia and men's long-jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan have tested positive in dope test.

The doping scandal has led to sacking of Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogorodnik, who trained the six women athletes who tested positive for banned substances.

Mudgal, a one-man committee, is expected to again visit NIS again in the first week of August and submit his report in six months.

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