WADA tests male quartermilers from India camp in Poland; leaves out women

According to a team source, four male athletes were tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) four days ago at their team’s base in Spala but none of the women were asked to give a test.

The World Anti-Doping Agency tested Amoj Jacob, M.P. Jabir (in picture), Jithin Paul and Noah Nirmal Tom at the Indian team’s base in Spala, Poland.   -  AP

Hima Das may have won five gold medals - all in mediocre meets abroad - in the last couple of months but it looks like the male athletes have caught the attention of dope-testing agencies in the Indian quartermilers’ and relay camp in Spala, Poland.

According to a team source, four male athletes – Amoj Jacob, M.P. Jabir, Jithin Paul and Noah Nirmal Tom – were tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) four days ago at their team’s base in Spala but none of the women were asked to give a test.

“In fact, the girls did not even have a single dope test after they came to Spala,” said the source. The quartermilers have been in Spala for the last two and half months, they landed there soon after the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.

Two prominent women athletes, Asian 800m gold medallist Gomathi Marimuthu, whom the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had planned to send to the 4x400m relay camp in Spala, and 2017 Asian 400m champion Nirmala Sheoran had failed dope tests in the last few months.

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And recently, a report revealed that five of India’s six individual gold medallists in last year’s Asian Games were not tested out of competition by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) prior to the event in Jakarta.

Since they have not qualified for this September’s World championships in Doha through the World Relays, the relay teams hope to make the cut as one of the best-ranked teams at the end of the qualification period (September 6). Six berths in the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays and four in mixed will be filled up through World rankings.

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The AFI has been trying to get a visa extension for the quartermilers in Poland and if that works out, many of them are likely to skip the national inter-state championships - the main qualification event for the coming Doha Worlds - which begin in Lucknow on August 27. They are also likely to compete in Brno, Czech Republic, on August 28.