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Tejbir admits testing positive
April 22, 2004 17:14 IST
Indian hockey plunged into fresh controversy on Thursday with forward Tejbir Singh admitting to testing positive for a banned drug.
Tejbir, who had to return from Madrid before the start of the Olympic qualifier last month, said over phone from near Amritsar that he was informed by the team coach that he had returned a positive test and could not take part in the tournament.
However, Indian Hockey Federation president K P S Gill expressed complete surprise, saying he is not aware about any player testing positive.
"I have not been in Delhi for a long time and I am not aware of such a development. We will look into the matter," Gill said over phone.
The player, however, said he was administered an injection by a doctor in Amritsar for an injury he sustained during the Nehru hockey tournament, a month before the Olympic qualifier, and it could be the reason for the positive test.
"I will soon get another test done and sort out the matter," the Punjab Police player said, adding he has not received any communication in this regard from the IHF.
"I was informed about it [the test] in Madrid by coach Rajinder Singh and had to return home," he said.
IHF secretary K Jothikumaran said he would "not react" Tejbir's statements despite persistent requests for his comment.
If the second test also confirms the presence of the banned drug, Tejbir would earn the dubious distinction of
being the first Indian hockey player to test positive.
Tejbir's positive result has come to light more than a month after the test, raising speculation that the IHF may have tried to hush up things in the Olympic year.
Sources in the IHF said the player was recalled from Madrid because of a "hamstring injury and severe cramps".
As per the International Hockey Federation (FIH) anti-doping rules, players testing positive for a steroid are liable to be suspended for up to two years. Rules also require the national federations to forward any positive test to the game's governing body for action.