India have been cleared of breaking anti-doping rules after banned syringes were found close to rooms belonging to members of the country’s boxing team but they may still be sanctioned for a breach of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (CGF) no-needle policy, it was announced today.
The CGF Medical Commission concluded their investigation and found the anti-doping rules had not been broken.
The CGF have refused to confirm it relates to the Indian team, although they were identified by media in that country.
In a statement, the CGF said there had been a breach of the no-needle policy in operation at Gold Coast 2018.
A hearing will now take place in front of the CGF’s Federation Court, the organisation’s disciplinary body, tomorrow to determine a possible punishment.
The Indian Olympic Association, who oversee the team at the Commonwealth Games, were earlier ordered to appear in front of the CGF’s Medical Commission to explain the circumstances surrounding the uncovering of the syringes.
Details remain conflicted over what exactly happened, with the CGF declining to reveal the exact nature of the incident until the Federation Court process has been concluded.
Indian boxing high-performance director Santiago Nieva confirmed the issue related to his team but claimed the syringes were used to treat an athlete who had fallen ill.
The no needle rules state that they can be used by “medically qualified practitioners for the clinically justified treatment of injury, illness or other medical conditions”.
“I’m confident that our boxers (have) not taken anything,” Nieva told the Seven Network.
“We had one boxer who didn’t feel very well and doctor has given him an injection.”
Nieva added that all 12 members of the team, consisting of eight men and four women and which includes five-time world champion Mary Kom, had been drugs tested since the syringes were discovered.
“This matter is not defined as an anti-doping rule violation, but rather as an infringement of the CGF’s no needle policy, which has been introduced by major events organisers to ensure best medical practices,” a CGF spokesperson said.
CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said the Court can impose sanctions on individuals and teams.
Grevemberg added the disciplinary group will determine whether there has been an “ethical or administrative” violation.
“We have used this opportunity to reiterate the need for compliance with the no-needle policy,” he said.
“We will continue to be vigilant and diligent in that area.”
India were officially warned about their use of needles by the CGF at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Similar suspicions were aroused during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.