12 October 2010

Games gets first positive dope test

India's Commonwealth Games organisers has encountered yet another problem that is out of their hands: a postive drug test.


After a host of self-induced problems that brought bad publicity for India's Commonwealth Games organisers, a new one surfaced that was completely out of their control: a positive drug test.

In what has become almost inevitable at multi-sports events, Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell announced the first doping case of the New Delhi Games, saying Osayomi Oludamola of Nigeria tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylexanemine and could be stripped of her gold medal in the 100m.

The New Delhi event has been plagued by problems with ticketing, near-empty stadiums, construction delays and filthy conditions in the athletes' village before the games began.

First of 900 tests

More than 900 doping tests have been conducted since the games open 3 October 2010, Fennell said, and so far Oludamola had returned the only positive.

Fennell said Oludamola has been notified of the adverse finding and had requested the testing of the "B" sample.

A Federal Court hearing involving Fennell, lawyers and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) observers later ruled that the provisional suspension would continue until the "B" sample results are received, the CGF said in a statement.

"If the allegations are true it's most unfortunate for us," Nigeria's chef de mission Elias Gora said. "I'm disappointed and I'm sure people back home will also be disappointed, too."

WADA recently loosened the classification of Methylexanemine for next year to the "specified stimulant" list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.

Confusion in New Delhi

The women's 100m has led to a lot of confusion in New Delhi.

Sally Pearson, the Olympic hurdles silver medallist, thought she had won the 100m last week, but hours after crossing the line first she was disqualified for a previous false start.

Pearson finally got a Commonwealth Games, though, winning the 100m hurdles.

This time, there was no question. She got off fast and led for the entire race, finishing in a games record of 12.67 seconds at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Horrible week

"It has been a horrible week because of the disqualification," Pearson said. "I am just relieved and I am just happy now. I did not even have to look, I just knew I had won the gold."

New Zealand, South Africa, England and Kenya won all three of their rugby sevens matches and qualify for next medal round, Kenya with a 12-10 upset of IRB Sevens world champion Samoa in the last preliminary match.

Alexandre Despatie won his second gold in the diving pool, successfully defending his 3m springboard after winning the 1m springboard. His Canadian teammate Reuben Ross finished second and Grant Nel of Australia won the bronze.

It was Despatie's eighth career gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. His first came in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998 at the age of 13.

Taking it one day at a time

"Right now I am just feeling the day," Despatie said. "I felt great this morning, took the afternoon off and didn't think about competition. I'm healthy and it was good to see it pay off tonight."

Malaysia's Pandelela Pamg won the women's 10m platform while Australians Melissa Wu took silver and Alexandra Croak the bronze.

Indian boxer Suranjoy Singh had an easy 9-3 victory over Haroon Khan to reach the gold medal bout in the 52kg division. The 19-year-old Haroon, younger brother of WBA world champion Amir Khan, was representing Pakistan after being ignored by England selectors.

With out-of-competition issues constantly overshadowing New Delhi 2010, Fennell said he was uncertain what effect the doping case would have on the games.

Clean sport

"Any positive test, whether it is in a high-profile event or not, is something that is very much regretted for a clean games, clean sport and a clean competition," Fennell said, adding that no decision had been made on the medals."

Most of the Olympic Games this decade have had doping cases. The International Olympic Committee stripped Poland's cross-country skier Kornelia Marek, who tested positive for EPO, of all her results from the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier this year, although she did not win any medals.

After a French lab devised a test for the advanced blood-booster CERA, the International Olympics Committee retested samples from the 2008 Beijing Games and disqualified five athletes for CERA use.

Positive test in 2006

There was one positive test during the Turin Games in 2006, with Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

In addition, Italian police raided the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team outside Turin, seizing blood-doping equipment. No Austrian athletes tested positive at the time, but six were later banned by the IOC for involvement in the scandal.

Testing was continuing in New Delhi, with medallists in all events tested and others done at random.

The games end Thursday 14 October 2010, and street kids will have a chance to see the closing ceremonies. The Delhi government has asked the games' organising committee to reserve 700 tickets which it will buy.

The tickets will be distributed to 200 children who live and work on the streets of this city of 12 million. The other 500 will go to students of government schools.

(Sapa, Dennis Passa, October 2010) 

Read more:
Women's 100m winner fails dope test




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