CGF closes no-needle policy issue, Indian team in the clear

The complaint put forward to the court indicated the Indian team to be in breach of CGF's no-needle policy.

Indian contingent with officials during the country's flag-hoisting ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2018.   -  PTI

The Commonwealth Games Federation Court, which heard a complaint made by the CGF Medical Commission against Dr. Amol Patil, team doctor of the Indian boxing team, has closed the issue after a lengthy and protracted process here on Tuesday by seeking the CGF CEO David Grevemberg to issue a strong written reprimand to the Indian team.

Further, the court also stated that a copy of the letter of reprimand be served on the chef-de-mission of the Indian team advising him that no further infractions of the CGF policies occur by any member of the Indian team during the Games. The letter of reprimand to the team doctor is to also include a recommendation that he immediately familiarises with CGF policies, in particular, the medical policies and standards applicable during Games time so as to avoid a recurrence of any further breaches.

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The complaint put forward to the court chaired by Richard Powers (Canada) and attended by its two members – David Harry (Guernsey) and Patrick Fepuleai (Samoa) by the CGF medical commission had indicated the Indian team to have breached the CGF’s no-needle policy.

The court, as part of its investigation, questioned the Indian doctor, who confirmed that he had indeed administered a vitamin-B complex by injection to an athlete who was feeling unwell. The Indian team comprises 327 persons in total with only doctor (apart from the doctor assigned to boxing) and one physiotherapist. These are the first Games of the both the Indian chief medial officer and the doctor in question.

The court found that there was a partial breach of the no-needle policy in that the doctor left needles in the room while he went to the poly clinic to obtain sharp bins for the disposal of the needles. Under the CGF policy, needles are required to be stored in a central secured location, access to which is restricted only to authorised medical personnel of a Commonwealth Games Association delegation. The needles in question were not disposed of until the doctor had made two visits to the poly clinic.

However, the court ruled in favour of the Indian against further allegations made against him by the CGF medical commission as based on evidence presented before it, stated that the Indian doctor had compiled further sections of the policy by forwarding the Injection Declaration form as required by the rules giving details of the injections given to the unnamed athlete well before noon on the day following the use of the needles.

The ruling, on the whole, is a huge relief to the entire Indian contingent which had been subjected to a furious media scrutiny ever since the story broke out during the last weekend that a cleaner at the Games Village had found out used needles in a plastic bottle close to the residential quarters of the Indian team and had handed over the same to the CGF medical commission.