Indian athletes Rakesh Babu, a triple jumper, and Irfan Thodi, a race walker, were sent home from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games after a needle was found in a cup in their room at the athlete’s village on Thursday.
Investigators from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority also found a syringe in Babu’s bag.
‘Babu and Thodi are with immediate effect not permitted to participate in the Games. Their accreditation was suspended and both athletes have been removed from the village,’ Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin told reports.
These findings came after Indian officials were severely reprimanded following the discovery of syringes in a room occupied by Indian boxers several days before the Games began, breaching a strict ‘no-needle’ policy.
India to appeal
Indian officials told reporters that they would appeal the CGF decision.
‘They have taken action against two athletes, which we do not agree with at all ... and we will appeal against the decision,’ they said.
‘The needle found was reported by the cleaning person. Our athletes totally denied they knew about the needle.
‘They talked to the cleaning person, they talked to the athlete. They believed the cleaner.
‘Basically, there is a lot of confusion around the whole episode.’
The officials also said that Babu admitted there was a needle in his bag, however, he had no idea how it got there.
2 Team India athletes have been banned from #GC2018 competition.— Lachlan Kennedy (@lachlan_kennedy) 13 April 2018
A. V. Rakesh Babu (Triple Jump) & Irfan Kolothum Thodi (20km Race Walk) ordered onto first flight home for breaching ‘no needle policy’. Needles found in a bag & a bedside cup at Athletes Village #TenNews pic.twitter.com/wfD4xTIJf7
No needle policy
The Gold Coast Games have a strict ‘no-needle’ policy.
Athletes are not allowed to carry any syringes inside the Games village or competition areas, unless they have permission for medical purpose, and even in such cases, the athletes have been advised to attach an ‘Injection Declaration Form’.
“Failure to respect this CGF No Needle Policy… may expose the Athlete(s), the entourage of the Athlete(s), the CGA and members of its delegation as well as the Person(s) having administered the injection to disciplinary action, additional Testing and sanctions, as determined by the CGF Medical Commission,” the CGF advisory (https://thecgf.com/sites/default/files/2018-03/No-Needle-Policy.pdf) on the issue said.