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Telltale vials raise dope stink at powerlift venue

Jamshedpur, June 27: Scores of syringes and vials found scattered near the venue of a national competition here has brought to light the use of performance-enhancing drugs at the very launchpad of competitive sports in the country.

The stink of dope rose from the gallery of the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, where the national sub-junior powerlifting championships are being held. Several participants were seen taking injections before their respective events.

Spotted using a syringe, a girl admitted that she has taken two shots on her hip. She identified the injections as Duraboline, a banned anabolic steroid, and Eldervit-12, a vitamin.

She said Eldervit-12 was injected to “cover up” Duraboline. “Eldervit-12 is a vitamin which does not come under the ambit of the banned substance. Even if I am caught by the officials, I can easily show the vials of the Eldervit-12. I have destroyed the vial of the banned substance,” she added.

Several other participants were found following the same method on the galleries behind the venue. “Most of the participants here do so,” the girl said.

A senior doctor said the vitamin could not act as a masking agent. He said traces of Duraboline would remain in the body for about a week. “It is active for a short time. Taking Eldervit-12 and Duraboline one after another won’t affect the presence of the latter in the body.”

However, a lifter pointed out that the vitamin vials can help the participants explain away the presence of syringes, if they are caught red-handed.

The errant lifters seem to be banking on the fact that only record-breakers are put through mandatory sample tests. The regular practice of random tests does not cover everybody. Four national records were set today.

The Indian team for the World Sub-junior Powerlifting Championship will be selected on the basis of performance in this meet. The world meet is scheduled in Johannesburg from September 7 to 12.

Senior Indian Powerlifting Federation (IPF) officials said they are unaware about what was going on behind the scenes.

Ramesh Chandra Joshi, the official who has been sent here by the federation to be on the lookout for drugs, said he has not found any syringes or foils of Eldervit-12. “I have also checked the toilets and bathrooms but have not come across any syringes or vials,” he added.

IPF general secretary Subrata Dutta said: “We are collecting urine samples of lifters who have set a record in this meet. We are also collecting samples at random.”

According to a senior IPF official, the federation impo- ses fines on errant lifters. The first offence carries a fine of Rs 10,000, the second Rs 20,000 and the third life ban.

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