Commonwealth Games 2018: Two Indian athletes banned from CWG Village for breaching 'no-needles' policy'
What’s the story?
In what comes as a shocking development, two Indian athletes- triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi have been suspended from the ongoing Commonwealth Games after needles were discovered in their room at the athletes' village.
The Indian duo has also been asked by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin to leave the country immediately and take the first flight available.
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.
In case you did not know
The needles were initially found by the cleaners in a cup in the apartment assigned to Babu and Thodi on Thursday. Following further investigation, the Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigators then located another needle in a bag belonging to Babu.
The heart of the matter
The decision to suspend both the athletes comes after the CGF made a review of the whole matter, though it was initially disposed of by the Federation court.
The testimony of athletes Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi who denied all knowledge of the needle in the cup in Bedroom 2.
In a statement, CGF president Louise Martin also warned the team’s chef-de-mission Vikram Sisodia, mentioning that a letter of strong reprimand would be issued against him and any further breach could result in suspension of accreditation.
Babu had qualified for the triple jump final and was due to compete on Saturday, April 14. On the other hand, Thodi finished 13th in 20km race walk, which took place last Sunday
The suspension comes as a disheartening news for both the athletes and their fans. While the decision was apt keeping in tone with the spirit of sports, it will be a huge miss for India as they miss out on a potential medal.