IOA voices its support for Sisodia appealing against CGF reprimand

Rakesh Babu and Irfan were ordered out of the Games Village after needles were recovered from their bedroom, prompting CGF to issue a strongly-worded reprimand to the Indian officials, including Chef de mission Vikram Sisodia, general team manager Namdev Shirgaonkar and athletics team manager Ravinder Chaudhry.

IOA Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta, had said, "The athletes would be liable to sanction, as decided by the Medical and Ethics Commissions of the IOA, soon after Shirgaonka announced that they will appeal against the ruling.”   -  Ramesh Sharma

Days after saying that triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker K.T. Irfan will be liable to sanctions for breaching CWG’s ‘no needle policy’, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), on Tuesday, said that it supports officials who had appealed against the CGF Court decision to oust the two athletes from the Games Village, in Gold Coast.

Rakesh Babu and Irfan were ordered out of the Games Village after needles were recovered from their bedroom, prompting CGF to issue a strongly-worded reprimand to the Indian officials, including Chef de mission Vikram Sisodia, general team manager Namdev Shirgaonkar and athletics team manager Ravinder Chaudhry.

IOA Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta, had said, "The athletes would be liable to sanction, as decided by the Medical and Ethics Commissions of the IOA, soon after Shirgaonka announced that they will appeal against the ruling.”

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However, the IOA, on Tuesday, issued a statement, saying that it stands by its officials. "It is unfortunate that the CGF Court reprimanded the Indian Officials, who had made every attempt to ensure that the athletes fell in line with the CGF No Needle Policy. While IOA will further investigate into those athletes, who were found with needles in the Games Village, we stand by our officials’ request to the CGF to review its decision," Mehta said in a statement.

The IOA release mentions what Sisodia had said in his appeal. “In his appeal to the CGF, made on April 15, Sisodia had said that All Team Leaders/ Managers/ Chief Coaches were instructed for compliance with the No Needle Policy. During the hearing, minutes of the meeting were also handed over to the panel, which proves that all efforts were made by us to make athletes aware of the No Needle Policy."

“During the hearing, both the athletes also informed the CGF court that they were told several times by their officials about the policy, during their team meetings.”