Asian Para Games gold medalist caught in dope cloud

Despite India’s huge medal haul at the Asian Para Games recently concluded earlier this month in Jakarta, embarrassment seems to be in order for the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) as one of India’s gold medalists, Narayan Thakur (100m-T35 category) tested positive for a stimulant. The substance in question has been named as terbutaline, the Hindustan Times reports.

The named stimulant is a beta-2 category agonist, or bronchodilators, a group of drugs prescribed to treat asthma. According to reports, Thakur was allowed to compete on October 9 despite the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) informing the PCI of his positive test result and provisional suspension announced just a day before on October 8. There are some serious questions to answer in this context. The sample tested by NADA had been collected during a preparatory camp in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar in mid-September.

On their part, PCI is evading the question of wrongful participation by claiming that no information had reached them through NADA. In fact, there was no communication at all regarding Narayan Thakur and his test results. “We are yet to get any official communication from NADA, the moment we get it, we will act accordingly,” Gurcharan Singh, the Chef de Mission for the Indian contingent at the Asian Para Games was quoted as saying.

India finished 9th among all nations participating at the Asian Para Games with 15 Gold, 24 Silver and 33 Bronze medals to bring the total up to 72, the country’s best showing at the tournament. History was created in more than one sphere- like blind chess and para-cycling where India clinched podium finishes for the first time.

As per the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), punishment for a first time offence is a suspension amounting to four years. Additional penalty may vary depending on the category of the stimulant used and can be anywhere between three months to four years.