A 2nd doping case hits Commonwealth Games

AP News
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Posted: Oct 12, 2010 10:26 AM
A 2nd doping case hits Commonwealth Games

A second doping case in two days, and again involving a Nigerian runner, has hit the Commonwealth Games.

Samuel Okon, who was sixth in the 110-meter hurdles final last Friday, tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine, Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell said Tuesday.

"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 edition in 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 Oct. 3, the problem of doping is out of the control of the federation and the local organizers.

Methylhexaneamine is the same substance that was found in women's 100-meter champion Osayomi Oludamola's "A" sample last week. It 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 won't be in effect until 2011.

"Each year on the first of January, it becomes effective a new list," Fennell said. "We are operating on the 2010 list."

Because of the problems and issues that likely 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 organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi 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."

In the stadiums and arenas around New Delhi, however, Indian athletes kept the focus on competition.

India thrilled the home crowd by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to beat England in a penalty shootout to reach the men's field hockey final. After the match ended 3-3 and the teams played two extra periods, India advanced to a final against Australia with a 5-4 win on penalty strokes. It was a massive win for India, where hockey ranks second only to cricket in popularity.

Within a minute of India's stirring hockey triumph, the home country added another track gold with a win in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:27.77. Nigeria and England were second and third, respectively. Until a sweep in the women's discus on Monday night, India hadn't won a Commonwealth Games medal in track and field since 1958.

On the final night at the athletics meet, Kenya swept all the medals in the women's 5,000, with world champion Vivian Cheruiyot winning in 15:55.12 and world silver medalist Sylvia Kibet next in 15:55.61. Ines Chenonge fell off the pace on the last lap and took bronze in 16:02.47. Kenya's Silas Kiplagat also won the men's 1,500.

Jarrod Bannister of Australia won the men's javelin with a throw of 81.71 meters and England swept the gold medals in the 4x100-meter relays, winning both the men's and women's races.

New Zealand won another rugby sevens title, erasing a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat Australia 24-17 in the final.

England's 16-year-old world champion Tom Daley combined with Max Brick to win the men's 10-meter platform synchronized final with 439.65 points, almost 16 clear of Australia's Olympic 10-meter platform champion Matthew Mitcham and Ethan Warren.

"It's amazing. I've just got one more title to get before the end of my career and that is the Olympic gold," Daley said.

Canada's Eric Sehn and Kevin Geyson finished third, but weren't awarded a gold because there were only four teams in the final.

One milestone was reached at the shooting venue Tuesday, and another is within range.

India earned a record 31st gold medal when Annu Raj Singh and Heena Sidhu won the women's 10-meter air pistol pairs event. The country's previous record of 30 golds was set at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Also, English shooter Mick Gault and teammate Iqbal Ubhi took bronze in the men's 25-meter standard pistol pairs to give Gault his 17th Commonwealth Games medal _ one fewer than the career record held by Australian shooter Phillip Adams.

Gault will have a chance to match the record on Wednesday in the standard pistol singles event.

"It's a competition for me," Gault said. "I just want to perform well tomorrow and if that results in a medal, that's all right."