The ‘no needle policy’ of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) seems to have flouted as a good number of used syringes were found at the main athletics stadium of the Sports Authority of India’s centre here as the three-day 22nd Junior National Federation Athletics Championship began on Friday.

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Hindustan Times has pictures of the syringes scattered in the men’s toilets, which were adjacent to the dope collection rooms at the venue. Though the identity of the athletes who used the syringes is not known, their presence at the venue raises many questions.

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“You can’t keep an eye on an athlete, especially when they have locked the doors of the toilet. It’s not our responsibility to go and check all the time whenever an athlete comes out of the toilet,” said a security guard outside the bathrooms on the condition of anonymity.

However, the presence of the syringes on the first day of prestigious event, which is a qualifying championship for the 21st Asian U20 Athletics Championships, scheduled in Dubai from April 24 to 27, took the organisers Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association by surprise.

“We don’t have any idea of such syringes in the men’s toilet, and it seems almost impossible as we have a strict no-needle policy in the athletics, but still, I am going to check this on my own,” chief executive officer of the Uttar Pradesh Athletics Association PK Srivastava said when asked for his reaction on Friday.

He, however, confirmed that in the room next to the bathrooms for men and women sportspersons adjacent to the athletics arena at the SAI centre, the AFI has set up its dope control centre where a team of doctors are deputed for the purpose. A six-member NADA team led by BN Mishra is stationed there.

“AFI has set up its dope controlling centre at the venue and so far, nine samples have been received on day one of the three-day championship,” said Srivastava. “It’s sad that some of our athletes still believe in such short cuts for winning.”


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