The suspense continues and the large media contingent here to cover the Commonwealth Games are virtually on the edge ever since a local daily on Saturday reported on used syringes being found by a cleaning woman in the Athletes Village here.
The needle of suspicion has ever since been pointed at India though an official word is yet to be made out on this matter of grave concern. Consequently, there is quite a buzz and various theories are out in the public domain, though almost all of them have anyone credible on record and thereby being, at least as of now, vague stories, to say the least.
The stories, as they have gained momentum, has it that a cleaning woman had alerted the Village officials after a dozen of so used syringes were found in a bottle and these were picked up the anti-doping officials from near to the residential quarters of the Indian boxing team.
Only one Indian official, Ajay Narang, is on record denying the involvement of the team in the unfortunate episode and going on to add that it was some of the Indian athletes who had found the bottle and handed it over the officials for scrutiny.
Quite naturally, the topic was one with focal attention at the daily media briefing of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) with almost all present trying to get to the CGF CEO, David Grevemberg and the Gold Coast Organising Committee chairman, Peter Beattie for precise information.
However, all Grevemberg did disclose was that the CGF was in receipt of a report the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation team and the same was passed over to the CGF Medical Commission for further action as after consultation it was found out a breach to the CGF’s ongoing no-needle and no-doping policy.
“The Medical Commission after holding further consultation has summoned the delegation leaders of a Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) for a meeting later today. We hope that the report from our Medical Commission will contain the testimony of the summoned CGA and that will be put forward to the CGF court for further deliberations and to recommend sanctions, if required,” he said.
Though Grevermber did promise that he would rush back to brief the media on any further development, the CGF remained untraceable through the rest of the day.
With ball-tampering scandal involving the Australian cricket team already creating ripples across the country, Mr. Beattie did admit that the publicity around the breach of the no needle policy would always be unhelpful as only two days remained for the opening ceremony of the Games. “It is true that there will be incidents such as these might come up in the coming days, but I feel to protect our reputation and overshadowing of the Games will be to deal with them properly, quickly and succinctly.”
The former world cycling track champion and Olympic gold-medallist, Anna Meares, who is currently a goodwill ambassador for the Games, in her intervention was candid, “From my point of view, there will always be cheats. Where there is a reward and something at the end of the day, there will be always someone looking for short-cut. With this mind, what I would prefer is that the media give headlines and stories of those who won through their sheer hard work and thorough determination and not that of those who cheated.”