Inderjeet doping saga continues

NADA had gone ahead with testing Inderjeet’s ‘B’ sample in January this year, in the presence of an independent observer as authorised under the world body's rules, after he refused to appear in person despite several reminders

Inderjeet had tested positive for anabolic steroid androsterone and etiocholanolone.   -  AP

The drama surrounding shot-putter Inderjeet Singh's doping controversy continues to stretch almost ten months after he first tested positive for prohibited substances.

On Wednesday, Inderjeet's lawyers insisted on getting the complete set of documents from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) related to the testing of his sample drawn on June 29 last year while competing in Hyderabad in the run-up to the Rio Olympic Games. The shot-putter has claimed tampering and demanded that his B sample be tested at a different WADA-accredited lab.

Interestingly, the NADA had gone ahead with testing his ‘B’ sample in January this year, in the presence of an independent observer as authorised under the world body's rules, after Inderjeet refused to appear in person despite several reminders. That had also turned out to be positive, increasing the chances of a four-year ban on the shot-putter who had qualified for Rio Olympics but could not participate.

Inderjeet and his lawyers on Wednesday claimed that they had not got any written response to their two applications moved before the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in October 2016. The first had sought details of the initial review of the test results by NADA, which countered that it was done between July 22 and 25.

The second application had sought the testing of his ‘B’ sample in a different lab and Inderjeet's lawyers claimed that NADA had gone ahead and got it tested on its own before the ADDP could give any directions. The athlete continued to insist on getting whatever may be left of the ‘B’ sample to be tested elsewhere.

The entire controversy surrounds the fact that a preliminary report from the NADA, sent to the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) stated that Inderjeet had tested negative at the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for his sample collected on June 29. Another sample, collected out of competition at Sonepat on June 22, had by then turned up ‘positive’.

NADA informed the AFI that after additional tests on the June 29 sample that also had come ‘positive’. Inderjeet had tested positive for anabolic steroid androsterone and etiocholanolone. That discrepancy also led to the athlete and his counsel to demand a second testing at a different lab.

While there is little hope of that happening now, the fact that the defendant has managed to drag the case for so long with a hearing panel yet to commence any hearing in the matter has turned the entire case into a farce.