The Athletics Federation of India has confirmed that 41 athletes were disqualified after failing age-verification tests at the 16th National Youth Athletics Championships in Raipur.
Among the athletes who were found to have failed the tests were multiple-time Khelo India gold medallist and highly-rated 100 metres sprinter Nisar Ahmed, Aditya Prakash (110m hurdles, 400m), Ashish Poonia (hammer throw), Manpreet Singh (Decathlon), Vijay Malik (High Jump) and Shyam Chaudhari (Discus Throw).
Nisar had earlier topped the second heat of the 100 metres event with a time of 11.02 seconds but was disqualified after failing the bone density (of the wrist) test administered by the chairman of the AFI’s medical committee, Arun Mendiratta.
Nitin Arya, competitions secretary for the AFI stated that this was the first time that athletes had been tested on such a large scale in any youth athletics competition in India. “The athletes were informed and tested, and our medical officers checked their radiology tests. They were immediately disqualified from the competition and will no longer be eligible to participate in youth competitions,” said Arya.
The number of athletes who were found over-age at the competition could rise to about double though, as many did not attend the tests on getting to know about them and were also declared ineligible for the competition, Arya added.
“The AFI will take a decision on these athletics and further action at a meeting held in New Delhi, the dates for which have not been decided. Now, we will select the team for the Asian Youth Championships at Hong Kong to be held in March,” Arya said.
The AFI had also revised results for the competition on their website, clearly marking the athletes ‘DQ (Disqualified) overage’ against their names.