|October 7, 1999||
Three 'positive' tests at SAF Games
Three of the 1,069 sportspersons who participated in the recently-concluded eighth South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Kathmandu have tested 'positive' for banned substances, but authorities said any punitive action against the offenders will have to await a second sample also testing positive.
According to South Asia Sports Federation (SASF) secretary general Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, the urine samples testing positive for banned substances listed by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) belong to two Sri Lankans and an Indian. He said the national olympic committees concerned have been informed about the positive tests prior to carrying out ''confirmatory analysis'' of the second sample from the sportspersons.
Pradhan, while refusing to divulge the names or the sex of the offending sportspersons, made it clear that the Indian testing positive for the banned drug nandrolone swam in the 50 metres freestyle event.
While Sebastian Xavier and Elvis Hazarika participated in the men's swimming event at the Games, Nisha Millet, who was the golden girl of the pool, was the sole Indian entry for the women's event.
The two Sri Lankans were an athlete, who tested positive for nandrolone - taking part in the men's 400 metres hurdles - and a weightlifter, in the 85 kg category, who tested positive for ephedrine, Pradhan disclosed.
The doping control committee in Kathmandu had randomly taken samples from a total of 100 sportspersons who included one-third of the 162 gold medallists in the recent Games. The collected samples were tested at a Penang-based laboratory, only one of four such IOC-approved facilities in Asia and among 26 worldwide.
This was the first time in the 15-year history of the SAF Games that doping tests were conducted formally. Though dope tests were carried out earlier during the 1989 SAF Games in Islamabad, they were more of an informal nature and it was never made public as to how many tests had been conducted then.
In line with standard operating procedures laid down by the IOC, two urine samples were collected from the randomly-selected sportsperson at the Kathmandu Games within an hour of the event-end.
Since one of the two samples of the three sportspersons have tested positive for banned substances, ''confirmatory tests'' will be carried out on the second sample also before formally declaring the sportspersons 'offenders'.
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