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Indian athletes Babu, Thodi banned for breach of 'no-needles' policy

Last updated on: April 13, 2018 07:31 IST
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Rakesh Babu

IMAGE: India's Rakesh Babu in action during the men’s Triple Jump qualification at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Indian triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi have been banned from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and ordered to return home after breaches of the 'no-needles' policy, the Commonwealth Games Federation said on Friday.

The athletes and three team officials had appeared before a CGF hearing on Thursday, president Louise Martin said.


Babu, Thodi and three Indian team officials had appeared before a Commonwealth Games Federation hearing on Thursday, CGF President Louise Martin told reporters.

"The testimony of the athletes ... are both unreliable and evasive," Martin said.

"Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are in breach of the 'no-needles' policy.

"Babu and Thodi are with immediate effect not permitted to participate in the Games. Their accreditation was suspended and both athletes have been removed from the village.

"We have asked the Commonwealth Games association of India to depart Australia on the first flights available."

The three team officials were all reprimanded.

On Thursday, Babu qualified for the triple jump final in 12th place, with an effort of 15.98 metres.

Arpinder Singh, the other Indian in the fray, qualified for the final after topping his group and finishing second overall in the qualifying round.

A bronze-medallist from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Arpinder qualified with an effort of 16.39 metres.

Irfan finished way behind in the 20 km walk at 13th in 1.27.34 seconds, while Manish Singh Rawat, the other Indian race walker in the event, placed sixth with a time of 1.22.22 seconds.

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