India Athletics to investigate dropouts caused by doping officials' presence
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla is set to launch an investigation after he returns home from the Asian Games into a race that saw seven athletes withdraw shortly before it started.
The boys' 100 metres final at the Delhi State Athletics Championships was won by sole competitor Lalit Kumar due to the exodus that occurred after word got out of anti-doping officials that were attending the event.
Doctors also made a surprise visit to the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi to carry out an age test for the junior event.
All of the dropouts complained of cramps and muscle strains.
"There will be an inquiry," Sumariwalla told insidethegames.
"I'm going to figure out what happened because I don’t have the people who were on the ground and I have not spoken to the technical officials because I was just focusing on the Asian Games.
"When I go back we will have a fufully-fledgednquiry and maybe we are going to look at passing some rules that if something like this happens how are we going to handle it.
"There is no rule set by WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency] by which we can actually take action on the seven."
Sumariwalla, himself a former sprinter who represented India in the 100m at Moscow in 1980, is present in the Chinese host city for the athletics competitions that began on Friday and run until Thursday (October 5) which is when he will leave.
Although Sumariwalla is unsure of precisely what steps the inquiry will take, he revealed that he will enlist AFI's Disciplinary Committee chair BK Sindha to lead it.
The secretary of the Delhi Athletics Association Sandheep Mehta has called on India's National Anti-Doping Agency to test all seven athletes who dropped out.
The regional governing body has shared their details with the Agency.
In a separate incident at the same Championships, a girl in the junior steeplechase continued to run even after crossing the finish line as anti-doping officers chased her for a sample.
Sumariwalla asked the authorities to make the surprise visit due to the close proximity of the stadium to the New Delhi Laboratory, which is accredited by WADA.
He claimed that doping is primarily a problem in junior and amateur athletics in the country where drugs that may have been contaminated are available over the counter.
As a result, Sumariwalla feels it is highly unlikely that any of India's athletes at this year's Asian Games will fall foul of doping regulations.