Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Stripped of her medals, the gold in the 1500m and the bronze in the 5000m, following positive tests for nandrolone in the Busan Asian Games, Sunita is now in a position to get her medals back.
The OCA Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, who disclosed the IOC intervention in Hyderabad during the National Games, confirmed on Tuesday that he was in receipt of a fax from the IOC.
It was addressed to the OCA Headquarters in Kuwait and a similar letter had been sent to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The "relevant authorities'' were told not to proceed further in the case, he said.
Mr. Randhir Singh was reluctant to release the complete faxed message to the Press, but said that following the message, dated Dec. 23 and signed by the IOC Medical Commission Director, Dr. Patrick Schamasch, the OCA President, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Sabah, had sought the views of the Task Force members of the OCA on the matter.
According to Mr. Randhir Singh, the Task Force, headed by himself was the body entrusted with the responsibility of taking all major decisions during the Games and it was also competent to rule on the latest development and recommend appropriate action to be taken by the OCA President.
The same Task Force had earlier taken the decision to strip Sunita Rani of the medals following a recommendation from the OCA Medical Commission, but now, in the light of the IOC decision, Mr. Randhir Singh felt that there would be no point in going back to the OCA Medical Commission.
The IOC decision, as disclosed by Mr. Randhir Singh, amounts to an indictment of the Seoul lab, though it is to be seen what action the IOC will take against the accredited laboratory in Seoul. "False positives'' reported by an accredited lab normally means an automatic suspension and a downgrading in its status.
In the meantime, it is to be presumed that the IAAF which had been studying the voluminous dossier from Seoul following an appeal from the Amateur Athletic Federation of India (AAFI) would be dropping the case in view of the IOC advisory.
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