The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sunita free to participate in domestic tourneys

New Delhi: Sunita Rani, the middle-distance runner accused of doping charges in the Busan Asian Games, is free to participate in domestic meets. The announcement was made Wednesday by Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI).

On his return from the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) meeting in Monte Carlo, Kalmadi said that an official protest had been lodged with the IAAF about Sunita’s doping imbroglio. He added that the IAAF’s Anti-Doping Commission would examine the evidence and give a verdict in the near future.

Based on the 200-page report by lawyer Sushil Salwan, who conducted the one-man enquiry committee in Delhi, the AAFI lodged the protest.

The AAFI, in their protest has challenged the reports of the Asian Games doping laboratory in Seoul, as there were major discrepancies in the test results between the A and the B samples.

The difference in the amount of nandrolone in Sunita’s A sample (21ng/ml) and B sample (6ng/ml) was considered too large and the reasons cited for the difference too simplistic. The AAFI president said that there were several other discrepancies also, which further strengthened their case.

Kalmadi further informed that contrary to the rules, Sunita was only orally informed about her testing positive in Busan and did not get any written report. It was also told that she was not given time to respond.

Kalmadi also said the results of both the samples carried the signature of the same analyst which is not the correct procedure. Also the testing laboratory was not isolated as per tradition and everybody had free access. To prove Sunita’s innocence, the AAFI is willing to send Sunita’s B sample, taken in Patiala on September 30, for a fresh test in any IAAF accredited laboratory.

According to Kalmadi the official protest was lodged with the general secretary of the IAAF, Istvan Gyulai, the chairman of the Anti-Doping Commission and vice-president of the IAAF, Professor Arne Ljungqvist and anti doping officer Dr Gabriel Dolle.

The AAFI chief also informed that India have been allotted the 13th IAAF Half Marathon to be held on October 2, 2004. Four hundred athletes from 100 countries will participate in this meet, with the prize money being $125,000.

The winner of the team championships will get $15,000 while individual winners will earn $30,000, the runner up 15,000 and the second runner-up $10,000.

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