The one-man inquiry committee to probe the Monika Devi controversy on Friday ruled out any malafide intentions by the authorities to bar the Manipuri lifter from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing on dope charges but came down heavily on the officials for the delay in communicating the test results to her.
Former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy, who submitted the probe report to the Sports Ministry, did not find any violation of procedure in the whole testing process but stated the delay in conveying the test results is "unpardonable".
He also said the controversy could have been avoided had there been unity of purpose among the authorities concerned.
"I must state that I did not come across any concrete evidence of any malafides on the part of any individual although it is very clear that there was lack of unity of purpose among all these persons... it had no direct nexus to the issue of dope testing of the athlete," Krishnamurthy said in his 18-page report.
"I am quite clear in my mind that the whole controversy surrounding this episode could have very well been avoided had there been a better management of the procedures," he said in the report, which was prepared after recording the versions of Sports Authority of India (SAI), Ministry, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), National Dope Test Laboratory (NDTL) and Monika.
The report said Monika was subjected to four sample tests out of which two results -- of the first on June 6 and of the last on July 28 -- were found to have returned with "adverse analytical findings".
After the disclosure of the dope test results, Monika had alleged the Sports Authority of India had "deliberate and malafide" intentions behind preventing her participating in the Beijing Olympics.
Krishnamurthy also suggested to rename SAI to Sports Development and Regulatory Authority for better coordination so that such instances of lapses and delay could be avoided in future.
Krishnamurthy particularly found fault in the delay in conveying the result of the first sample taken on June 6 in Pune and for not communicating the same to the lifter.
"The July 10 report of the first sample [of June 6] mentioned 'suspicious case' and 'report to be submitted'. This was conveyed by SAI to the IWF but there is no indication of it having been communicated to the athlete.
"The same sample was subject to CG-IRMS analysis [for confirmation]. This analysis report dated July 25 stated 'there is likelihood of exogenous (synthetic) origin and recommended for follow-up/longitudinal studies'.
"Two other samples dated June 29 and July 15 sent by SAI centre, Bangalore to NDTL found 'No banned substance detected'.
"Another sample taken on July 28... and the report on this on August 5 with the finding 'adverse analytical finding for use of endogenous steroid or its precursors'," it said.
"There is no doubt that there has been a considerable delay in completing the test taken on June 6 and in communicating the same to the athlete. Had the testing been done within the stipulated time and the result thereof been communicated immediately thereafter, the disappointment and the mental shock the athlete had by the sudden and abrupt communication could have been easily avoided," it said.
"Such a delay is indeed unpardonable as it is not in any case in the spirit of WADA code even assuming that NDTL was not aware that the sample related to a priority case relating to an international competition."