Commonwealth Games 2018: India asked to appear before CGF over syringe controversy

The syringe controversy now sees India being summoned to appear before CGF
The syringe controversy now sees India being summoned to appear before

What's the story?

The ongoing investigation upon the discovery of syringes in the common lobby of the boxer's floor of the Indian contingent in the Commonwealth Athlete's Village has come nearer to a conclusion.

India has now been ordered to appear in front of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Medical Commission as they have been alledged to have breached the "clear" declaration according to the no-needle policy upheld at Gold Coast 2018.

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Following a tip-off by a cleaner on Saturday, who had come across these syringes and immediately notified the CGF authorities, investigation had begun bringing the entire Indian boxing contingent residing there under much scrutiny.

Details remain conflicted over what exactly happened, with the CGF declining to reveal the exact nature of the incident until the investigation is completed. The syringes were reportedly found stuffed inside a crushed plastic bottle and put in a bin outside the room, in the common lobby.

CGF Chief Executive David Grevemberg was visibly upset with these developments and declared that a team had violated the rules laid down by the CGF but he refused to name the team accused.

Not only that, to cite history ,India was officially warned about their use of needles by the CGF at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and also during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio when similar suspicions had surfaced.

The heart of the matter

Following the recent developments, an initial report was prepared by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) which was delivered to the CGF Medical Commission overnight.

The Indian Olympic Association(IOA), which is in charge of the Indian athletes competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, has been summoned to a meeting with the CGF Medical Commission where the officials from India will be interrogated about the syringes.

The details of the case are still a blur and it is yet to be determined if the syringes violate the anti-doping rule.

Peter Beattie, the Chairman for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is a little saddened because these developments has taken all the focus away from the tournament.

"If we can do all of the necessary work, which we will do, the damage will be minimal but I am a little frustrated that it has overshadowed some of the preparations for the ceremony but I am sure that will go away quickly," Beattie said, hoping that Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 4th April will bring back the lost focus.

"It is in everyone's interest that this is resolved as soon as possible," he commented.

What's next?

Meanwhile, the accused team is likely to be sanctioned for this breach of the no-needle policy but a punishment will be imposed eventually.

"The sanctions really depend on the nature of the incident," Grevemberg said.

The CGF officials refuse to express the degree of punishment until further light is shed on the entire matter. The Medical Commission will prepare its own report, which will be forwarded to the CGF's Federation Court who will determine the necessary steps after that.

Author's Take

It's highly disheartening to see the Indian team being brought under so much scrutiny just before the Games. The eight male and four female boxers, who have been put under the scanner ever since the issue surfaced are having a hard time.

At a time like this when the Games are all set to begin, this kind of development is nasty. We hope that the resolution is reached soon and succeeding actions taken wisely and swiftly before the Games commence from the 4th.

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Edited by Soumo Ghosh
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