Davinder Singh Kang was headed for the athletics track to begin his warm-up routine for the men’s javelin throw final in the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix when a coach told him that his name had been withdrawn. Kang was informed at 2 pm on Tuesday, an hour before the scheduled start of the competition, that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had informed the Athletics Federation of India that he had tested positive for Androstane, an anabolic steroid.
Before the news was broken to him, the 29-year-old said he was prepping himself mentally to improve upon his personal best. “Even the national record was not beyond me yesterday. But then I was informed that I had failed a dope test. I was in shock,” Kang, absolutely shocked, said on Wednesday.
Kang has exercised his right to have his ‘B’ sample tested and if it also returns positive, he faces a four-year-ban. Since being provisionally suspended, Kang has been in a tizzy. “I am one of the Indian athletes in the international testing pool. Dope testing officials can test me on any day and they know where I can be located because I have to give my whereabouts. I am one of the most closely watched athletes. In such a scenario, I would be a fool to take a banned substance. I have reached the final of the World Championships and am a medal prospect at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. I would never risk my career by taking a banned steroid.”
According to Kang, a urine sample collected on November 10, 2017 tested positive but the second sample collected on November 24 returned negative. “I have been told that it takes over three months for a substance like Androstane to get washed out. If that is the case, how is it that two samples taken within a fortnight have different results?” Kang asked.
Over the past 24 hours, he has been cooped up in his room near the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. “I have not eaten since I got to know that I failed a dope test. I am really stressed because I know I am clean and can’t believe that I have tested positive.”
He said he’s generally careful in choosing his food. “I am so careful about what I eat, including the supplements I take. I have never been so down. Till a day ago, I was aiming to win a medal for the country at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games and now I face an uncertain future,” he said.
Kang had tested positive for marijuana last year but was allowed to compete as the substance did not attract a provisional suspension.