CHENNAI : In its bid to set a precedent, the Judo Federation of India (JFI) banned four judokas for four years for running away while dope tests were conducted during selection trials being held at the Central Regional Centre of Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bhopal last month. Interestingly, the federation instead of waiting for National Anti-Doping Agency action, went ahead and suspended them on disciplinary grounds.
The national federation initiated the action after consulting technical committee and intimated NADA of the sanctions later. “It’s the JFI that banned the four judokas not the NADA. We have sent the case to our technical committee attaching dope control officers’ (DCOs) report. The technical committee after studying the case sought approval of JFI president and on obtaining it decided to hand harshest of the punishment to the violators,” Man Mohan Jaiswal, JFI general secretary told this newspaper. “The action was taken to set a precedent so that the athletes do not resort to such practice in future,” he added.
As per World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection is considered as doping violation and the athletes concerned have to appear before National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) hearing panel to prove their innocence.
It was also learnt that two judokas, whose samples were collected during the selection trials, have failed dope test. One of them was suspended while other was given a reprieve as quantity of banned substance was found to be minimal. The trials were held for multiple events at the SAI Centre, Bhopal from June 10 to 13. The DCOs reached the venue for sample collection on June 11.
“As many as four participants escaped from the venue after they were informed that their samples will be collected by the DCOs. One of them did not turn up for the final while another left his judogi (traditional uniform used for judo) behind. One of the four violators left the centre pillion riding on a bike,” sources, who witnessed the incident, told this newspaper. Two of the banned judokas hail from Haryana while one each is from Punjab and Delhi respectively.
Apparently, the athletes were given time to appear before the DCOs for sample collection by next morning. Their coaches were also asked to make sure the judokas remain present for sample collection. “But these four athletes did not turn up and even switched off their mobile phones,” said Jaiswal.
Meanwhile, teams for Asian Oceania Cadet and Junior Judo Championships 2019 scheduled in Taipei City were selected following the camp at SAI Centre, Bhopal. The cadet team comprising seven boys and eight girls was scheduled to leave on Wednesday while the junior team consisting of 13 judokas (six boys and seven girls) will leave on Friday. The championships will be held from July 26 to 30.