As his 2004 dope violation tumbles out,Rathore trains guns at NRAI

Rathore slammed the timing of the revelations,nine years after the positive test.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published: May 16, 2013 3:34:31 am

Having challenged the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) election process in the Delhi High Court,Athens Olympics silver medalist in the double trap Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has landed in a spot of bother as it has emerged that he had tested positive for traces of a banned steroid a fortnight before the Games.

But the International Shooting Sport Federation did not sanction the shooter as it was established that the offence was ‘unintentional and he gained ‘no performance enhancing effect’.

Rathore on Wednesday slammed the timing of the revelations,nine years after the positive test,and said that it was done at the behest of the NRAI,which he had dragged to court for alleged violations in its election process.

“In 2004 the highest officials of the ISSF had cleared me,” Rathore said as part of his defence.

Rathore’s steroid violation occurred at the Asian Clay Target Championships that was held in Bangkok between July1-10,2004.

Rathore said it was apparent why the news of his dope violation was coming out after nine years. “The events from today are a clear attempt to defame me to divert attention from Hon HC decision of nullifying the NRAI elections. To rake up a non issue from nine years earlier is vendetta and a last ditch attempt to protect the stranglehold over the NRAI. I am amazed at the resistance of a few NRAI officials to allow free and fair elections,” Rathore said in a release.

The NRAI was only informed about Rathore’s ‘A’ sample testing positive for Prednisolone,a glucocorticosteroids,on the July 30th. NRAI had then requested for Rathore’s ‘B’ sample to be tested urgently. The ISSF on August 5,2004 had informed the ISSF that the ‘B’ sample had also tested positive.

The ISSF top brass,with advice from its medical committee and doping panel,then had decided “in consideration of the very short time available before the start of Olympic Games in Athens not to conduct any further investigation and not to take any decision in this very special case.”

Glucocorticosteroids is a respiratory tract relaxant.

“ISSF has always equally been of the opinion that compassion and lenience should be afforded to those who demonstrate that they have unintentionally slipped into a violation,as ISSF was convinced happened in the case of Mr. Rathore and other 4 athletes (not from India),who all inadvertently tested positive for small traces of the same substance at the same time and at the same event in 2004,” ISSF secretary general Franz Schrieber told The Indian Express through email on Wednesday.

“In light of the fact that there was no doubt whatsoever that the athletes had no significant fault in the matter (they showed how the substance entered their system,that they gained no performance enhancing effect from its use and that they never intended to cheat the system),all five athletes were sanctioned with a warning and matter ended there.” Schreiber further said.

Oversight occurred

However,the ISSF conceded that the oversight was committed and that the result should not have been allowed to stand. Rathore had won both the team and the individual gold at the meet.

“Article 9 of the WADA code does in fact state that any result obtained in an event where an ADRV (Anti-doping rule violation) has occurred must be cancelled. Yet,the ISSF’s initial decision was to not assert the anti-doping rule violation these results were not cancelled. Certainly,once the warnings were issued,the results should have been cancelled in accordance with the rules. The reason or administrative oversight as to why this was not done is beyond our knowledge at this point,” Schreiber further wrote.

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