Dope-tainted Devinder named in team

Javelin thrower had tested positive for marijuana; big squad for Asian meet

Dope-tainted Devinder named in team
Dope-tainted javelin thrower Devinder Singh was included in the 95-member Indian athletics team announced on Wednesday for the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from July 5 to 9.

Devinder, who along with Neeraj Chopra had qualified for the World Championships in London in August, had tested positive for marijuana in the sample collected during the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi on May 15. He had recorded an impressive 84.67M throw at the Indian Grand Prix at Patiala earlier to book his place in the World Championships.

There is no provisional suspension for cannabinoids (marijuana), it being specified substance, making the 28-year-old Punjab athlete eligible for Asians. However, a positive test for substances like marijuana can carry a suspension of up to four years under the 2015 WADA Code if the National Anti-Doping Agency is able to establish the athlete had taken it deliberately. If not, the athlete can get a ban for two years. Further reduction is possible including a mere reprimand if the athlete is able to prove that he bore no “significant fault or negligence” in ingesting the banned substance.

Fielding Devinder means India run the risk of losing a medal in case the javelin thrower manages to win one.

The AFI also announced that the entry of six athletes would be subject to their passing fitness trials. “Hurdler and long jumper Nayana James, triple jumper Joyline Mural Lobo, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, long jumper Siddharth Mohan Naik and triple jumper Karthik U will undergo trials on June 30 while high hurdler Siddhanth Thingalaya will face a trial on July 2,” an AFI statement said.

India, being the host nation, had the option to field three athletes per event but the AFI chose not to do that in every event.  In the men's 100M and 200M, Amiya Kumar Mallick is the only entry while the men's 400M entries comprise national champion Mohammad Anas, Amoj Jacob, who impressed in the Federation Cup, and Arokia Rajiv.

Defending champion Tintu Luka has been included for the 800M but has been left out of the 4x400M relay squad.  Odisha’s Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda will compete in the 100 and 200M while Nirmala, M R Poovamma and Jisna Mathew complete the women’s 400M squad. Vikas, Poovamma, Joyline, 800M runner Vishwambhar Kolekar, long jumper Shamsheer S E, high jumpers Sahana Kumari and Chetan B, 400M hurdler M Arpitha, 4x400M relay runner G K Vijayakumari, 4x100M relay member Reena George and decathlete Abhishek Shetty are the Karnataka representatives in the squad.

India had won thirteen medals, including four gold in the previous edition at Wuhan, China.

The squad: Men: 100M and 200M: Amiya Kumar Mallick; 400M: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob and Arokia Rajiv; 800M: Jinson Johnson and Vishwambhar Kolekar; 1500M: Ajay Kumar Saroj and Siddhanth Adhikari;  5000M: G Lakshmanan and Murali Kumar Gavit; 10000M: Lakshmanan, Gopi Thonakal and Kalidas Hirave; 3000M steeplechase: Naveen Kumar and Durga Bahadur Budha; 110M hurdles: Siddhant Thingalaya and Prem Kumar; 400M hurdles: Jabir MP, Santhosh Kumar T and Durgesh Kumar Pal; Pole vault: S Siva; High jump: Chethan B and Ajay Kumar; Long jump: Ankit Sharma, Samsheer SE and Siddharth Mohan Naik; Triple jump: Arpinder Singh and Karthik U; Shot put: Tajinder Pal Toor, Jasdeep Singh Dhillon and Om Prakash Singh Karhana; Discus throw: Vikas Gowda, Dharamraj Yadav and Kirpal Singh; Hammer throw: Niraj Kumar;  Javelin throw: Neeraj Chopra, Devinder Singh and Abhishek Singh; Decathlon: Jagtar Singh and Abhishek Shetty; 4x100M relay: Amiya Kumar Mallick, Jyotishankar Debnath, Anuroop John, VK Elakkiya Dasan, Pravin Muthukumaran and Chintha Sudhakar; 4x400M relay: Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Arokia Rajiv, Sachi Roby, Mohan Kumar and Kunju Muhammed.

Women: 100M and 200M: Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda; 400M: Nirmala, MR Poovamma and Jisna Mathew; 800M: Tintu Luka, Archana Adhav and Lili Das; 1500M: Monika Choudhary; 5000M: L Suriya and Sanjivani Jadhav; 10,000M: L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav and Meenu; 3000M steeplechase: Sudha Singh and Parul Chaudhary; 100M hurdles: Nayana James;  400M hurdles: Anu R, Jauna Murmu and Arpitha M; Pole vault: KM Sangeeta; High jump: Sahana Kumari and Swapna Barman; Long jump: Nayana James, Neena V and G Karthika; Triple jump: Sheena N V and Joyline Mural Lobo; Shot put: Manpreet Kaur, Ramanpreet Kaur and Anamika Das; Discus throw: Kamalpreeet Kaur Bal, Seema Punia and Himani Singh;  Hammer throw: Sarita R Singh and Gunjan Singh; Javelin throw: Annu Rani, Poonam Rani Singh and Suman Devi. Heptathlon: Swapna Barman, Purnima Hembram and Liksy Joseph; 4x100M relay: Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Merlin Joseph, Reena George, Ruma Sarkar and Himashree Roy;  4x400M relay: Nirmala, Poovamma, Jisna Mathew, Vijayakumari G K, Sarita Ben Gayakwad and Debashree Mazumdar.

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