The National inter-State athletics championships held in Guwhati last month had yielded some standout performances among India’s javelin throwers. While Shivpal Singh redeemed himself with a personal best and a spot in the Asian Games contingent, Amit Kumar- who stood third in the tournament, has been found guilty of potential substance abuse. He has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI)
The revelation came after Amit tested positive for a banned substance in an out of competition test conduted by Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) of the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in an ongoing preparatory camp in Finland.
According to a report in The Hindu, the positive test was the result of a supplement that Amit had procured online while he was still in the capital city of Delhi before he moved on to Finland for an exposure tour. At the Nationl Inter State Athletics Championships, the javelin thrower had failed to reach the Asian Games qualifying mark of 81mt.
What is fishy about this situation is that Amit had failed to mention this supplement in his dope control form. This leads to the conclusion that the suspicious supplement itself contained the banned substance. So far, the case is being handled by the World governing body for Athletics. It is yet unclear if India’s National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) is likely to get involved with the issue.
According to a NADA official who spoke to The Hindu, the Agency would only get involved if the IAAF referred the case to them. This brings back the discussion surrounding the very opaque tie-up that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has with NADA to ensure that the Indian market remains free of banned substances. Ensuring this would also significantly reduce the chances of athletes pleading innocence by resorting to the explanation that the substances were consumed by accident.
“They have issued some regulations for the manufacturers so that the substances should be dope free,” the NADA official told The Hindu.