Indian contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games suffered another embarrassment after the Commonwealth Games Federation announced that the accreditation of race walker KT Irfan and triple jumper Rakesh Babu was suspended with immediate affect and they would be sent back on the first available flight.
The Indian contingent had already been reprimanded for the breach of no-needle policy when a needle was found outside the room of the boxing contingent before the start of the Games.
“The Chef de Mission of the Commonwealth Games Association of India (“CGA India”), Vikram Singh Sisodia; General Team Manager, Namdev Shirgaonker; Athletics Team Manager, Ravinder Chaudhry; two athletes, Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi; and other individuals (Team Managers) associated with CGA India were found by the CGF Federation Court to be in breach of the CGF No Needle Policy for the Games (the “No Needle Policy”),” CGF president Louise Martin said in a statement on Friday.
“Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are with immediate effect not permitted to participate in the Games. The accreditation of Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi was suspended with effect from 09:00 hours on April 13, 2018. Both athletes were removed from the Games Village. We have asked the Commonwealth Games Association of India to ensure both athletes depart Australia on the first flight available,” the release added.
While Irfan was already through with his 20km race walk event, finishing 13th, the 28-year-old Babu was to participate in Friday’s triple jump final after qualifying 12th for the competition.
The CGF court found that the testimonies given by a cleaner manager at the Games and Australia Anti-Doping Authority Principal Investigator were credible.
“The testimony of athletes Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi who denied all knowledge of the needle in the cup in Bedroom 2 and the further testimony of Rakesh Babu that he had no knowledge of the syringe found in his bag in Bedroom 2 are both unreliable and evasive,” the CGF said.
(With PTI inputs)