Second Nigerian athlete fails drug test
NEW DELHI //A second doping case in two days, and again involving a Nigerian runner, has hit the Games. Samuel Okon, who was sixth in the 110m hurdles final last Friday, tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine,
Mike Fennell, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, said yesterday. "I again regret to inform you that we've had a second anti-doping violation," said Fennell, who has had to preside over the most trouble-plagued Commonwealth Games history.
But unlike the issues that affected the preparations leading up to the Games, and those glitches and setbacks that have appeared since the opening on October 3, the problem of doping is out of the control of the federation and the local organisers. Methylhexaneamine is the same substance that was found in women's 100m champion Oludamola Osayomi's "A" sample last week. The Commonwealth Games Federation yesterday said testing of Osayomi's "B" sample had confirmed a positive finding for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.
The gold medal for the woman's 100m will now be awarded to Natasha Mayers of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the silver to England's Katherine Endacott, with the bronze going to Bertille Delphine Atangana of Cameroon. The same substance was also found in about a dozen Indian athletes in recent months. "We ourselves are concerned by the number of incidents that have cropped up with this same substance," Fennell said, noting that the Nigerian team was also investigating.
"We have already had discussions with the leadership of the Nigerian team, who are themselves very, very concerned about this matter," Fennell said. "We are satisfied that they are taking this very seriously." The World Anti-Doping Agency recently loosened the classification of methylhexaneamine for next year to the "specified stimulant" list, meaning athletes can get off with a warning for inadvertent use of the substance.
But that will not be in effect until 2011. "Each year on the first of January, it becomes effectively a new list," Fennell said. "We are operating on the 2010 list." Because of the problems and issues that could have been avoided in the run-up to the event, media from around the world have often been critical of the Games in New Delhi. But Suresh Kalmadi, the organising committee chairman, refused to be drawn into a discussion about reporting of the event.
"No comment," Kalmadi said before being angered when asked if his non-statement meant he was unhappy with the overseas perception of India. "I just said no comments. That doesn't mean anything at all," he said * Associated Press
Published: October 13, 2010 04:00 AM