Commonwealth Games gets 1st positive drug test

AP News
Posted: Oct 11, 2010 6:44 AM
Commonwealth Games gets 1st positive drug test

After a host of self-induced problems that brought bad publicity for India's Commonwealth Games organizers, a new one surfaced Monday that was completely out of their control: a positive drug test.

In what has become almost inevitable at multi-sports events, Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell announced the first doping case of the New Delhi Games, saying Osayomi Oludamola of Nigeria tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylexanemine and could be stripped of her gold medal in the 100 meters.

The New Delhi event has been plagued by problems with ticketing, near-empty stadiums, construction delays and filthy conditions in the athletes' village before the games began.

More than 900 doping tests have been conducted during the games and, so far, Fennell said Oludamola had returned the only positive.

Fennell said Oludamola has been notified of the adverse finding and had requested the testing of the "B" sample. A Federal Court hearing involving Fennell, lawyers and World Anti-Doping Agency observers was to be held later Monday.

"So far we have not been officially told about this by the Commonwealth Games Federation, but if the allegations are true it's most unfortunate for us," Nigeria's chef de mission Elias Gora told The Associated Press. "I'm disappointed and I'm sure people back home will also be disappointed, too."

On Monday, Fennell said he was uncertain what effect the positive test would have on the games.

"Any positive test, whether it is in a high-profile event or not, is something that is very much regretted for a clean games, clean sport and a clean competition," Fennell said, adding that no decision had been made on the medals.

"One doesn't know what kind of damage will occur as the result of this test but we just want to let everyone know that we are very vigilant and the testing and laboratory analysis is of the highest standards."

Most of the Olympic Games this decade have had doping cases. The International Olympic Committee stripped Poland's cross-country skier Kornelia Marek, who tested positive for EPO, of all her results from the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier this year, although she did not win any medals.

After a French lab devised a test for the advanced blood-booster CERA, the International Olympics Committee retested samples from the 2008 Beijing Games and disqualified five athletes for CERA use. There was one positive test during the Turin Games in 2006, with Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

In addition, Italian police raided the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team outside Turin, seizing blood-doping equipment. No Austrian athletes tested positive at the time, but six were later banned by the IOC for involvement in the scandal.

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Testing was continuing in New Delhi, with medalists in all events tested and others at random.

The eighth of 11 competition days Monday included 14 gold medal events, the semifinals in boxing and the first day of the rugby sevens tournament at Delhi University.

Through two of three sets of matches Monday, defending champions New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Wales, Samoa, Kenya, England and Australia were unbeaten.

The first two gold medals Monday were presented in shooting, where Jan McIntosh and Kay Copland of Scotland won the women's pairs 50-meter rifle prone and Georgios Achilleos and Andreas Chasikos of Cyprus took the skeet pairs.

The games end Thursday, and street kids will have a chance to see the closing ceremonies. The Delhi government has asked the games' organizing committee to reserve 700 tickets which it will buy.

The tickets will be distributed to 200 children who live and work on the streets of this city of 12 million. The other 500 will go to students of government schools.