Tainted results remain alive in AFI's book

Tainted results remain alive in AFI's book

Tainted results remain alive in AFI's book

Triple jumper Renjith Maheswary might have failed a dope test during the 2008 National meet in Kochi but the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) records still show him as the gold medallist in the championships.

Maheswary’s case today attracts attention because of the ongoing Arjuna award controversy but there are countless such instances where neither the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) nor the AFI has bothered to annul the results following the dope positive reports.

Perhaps unaware of this phenomenon, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had argued recently that the fact that Maheswary’s result was not annulled showed that no conclusion was reached by the disciplinary panel and the athlete deserved to get the “benefit of doubt” in such circumstances.

The AFI, it would seem, has, however, made it a practice not to disqualify the results, the prime requirement in all dope positive cases.

 The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code states that in all cases, without exception, once a’ positive’ result is reported, the result obtained in that particular competition in which the athlete tested positive should be annulled and the athlete disqualified with all resultant consequences.

One of the most recent and important examples is that of shot putter Saurabh Vij who tested positive for testosterone in the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala in April last year. It was his second doping offence.  His first position in the meet, however, still stands in AFI’s results available on its website. It should have been annulled last year itself. Vij’s second case is still being heard while he has appealed in the first case.

Javelin thrower Vipin Kasana won the ‘gold’ at the National Games at Ranchi in  February, 2011 before being reported for a stanozolol positive and given a two-year suspension by the National Anti Doping Disciplinary Panel. He still can be seen as the gold medallist in the results.

Sukanya Mishra, a national champion in hammer throw was reported for a stanozolol violation in November, 2009. She came sixth in the Asian championships in Guangzhou on November 11. Her test was on a sample collected on November 3, 2009. Neither the disciplinary panel nor the appeal panel thought it fit to annul all her results from sample collection date. Thus Sukanya finds herself still in the official results available on the Asian Athletics Association website.

Even the AAA seems to have adopted a callous approach towards ‘disqualification’. Discus thrower Anil Kumar had tested positive for norandrosterone in the Asian Championships in Incheon in 2005 where he finished third behind Ehsan Hadadi of Iran and Vikas Gowda. His case was kept under wraps for almost two years by the AFI. Yet, even now, his third place is retained by the AAA in the official results.

Disqualification of results is an automatic follow-up of a ‘positive’ report and it need not wait for the final outcome of a hearing process.