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OCA to return Sunita Rani's medals
January 07, 2003 19:03 IST
The four-month trauma of Indian middle distance runner Sunita Rani, which began at the Busan Asian Games, ended on Tuesday, with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) formally announcing that the athlete would get back the medals she was stripped of after failing dope tests at the Asiad.
While declaring that "the OCA is now pleased to confirm that it has cleared Ms Rani of all charges and is extremely pleased to reinstate her and return her medals" the Council said "appropriate measures should be taken regarding the laboratory (at Seoul where the tests were carried out)"
Though Sunita Rani had been absolved of doping charges by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the decision to return her medals -- a gold from the 1500 metres and a bronze from the 5000 metres -- rested with the OCA.
On Tuesday morning the OCA, in an official communique, cleared Rani of all doping charges.
Following is the text of OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah's statement:
"The OCA has received an official communication from the IOC Medical Director stating that the IOC Sub-Commission on Doping and Bio Chemistry together with WADA experts have reviewed the samples of Ms Sunita Rani, the Indian athlete who was incorrectly found positive during the 14th Asian Games held in Busan from September 29th to October 14th 2002 and have come to the conclusion that there is a serious discrepancy in the drug test carried out by the IOC Laboratory in Seoul and have recommended that no further action should be taken in the case and appropriate measures should be taken regarding the laboratory.
"Subsequently the IAAF has also cleared Ms Sunita Rani of all charges. Therefore, OCA hearby declares that Ms Sunita Rani won a gold medal in the 1500 metres and a bronze medal in the 5000 metres during the 14th Asian Games.
"The OCA is now pleased to confirm that it has cleared Ms Rani of all charges and is extremely pleased to reinstate her and return her medals".