How IWF panel exonerated Monika
Source: The Sangai Express / Courtesy The Hindu

New Delhi, September 25: What happens if Monika Devi tests positive when her B sample is tested in the WADA-accredited Tokyo laboratory ?.

That is the question that has come up after the Union Sports Ministry on Monday ordered the weightlifter's B sample to be tested in an accredited laboratory.

She gets banned, says the General Secretary of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), BR Gulati.

"We never questioned the test result of the Delhi laboratory," said Gulati on Tuesday.

"We only raised objections to the procedures that were followed in reporting the test results".

Monika was charged with a doping violation hours before departure for participation in the Beijing Olympics, was cleared within three days by a review panel set up by the IWF, and yet failed to compete in the Games.

By then the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had withdrawn her entry from the 69-kg category competition.

A one-man enquiry panel under TS Krishna Murthy, set up by the Ministry following Monika's allegations of sabotage, recommended, among other things, testing of her B sample in another accredited laboratory.

It is pertinent at this stage to find out the grounds on which the IWF panel exonerated Monika.

The panel was headed by Dr RB Das of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), where, incidentally, Monika is employed.

It included five other members ��SC Khanna, a former weightlifter and an international referee, Sahdev Yadav, IWF Treasurer, Paramjit Singh, secretary of the Delhi Weight-lifting Association, K Subramaniya, IWF vice-president, who was consulted on phone, and Jasbir Singh, a coach from the CRPF.

The panel met on August 8 and 9, heard Monika Devi, and ruled that the lifter is clean and clear to participate in the Beijing Olympics.

The panel said in its report : The three subsequent negative tests are considered as conclusive proof of the lifter being clean.

(The three tests done under longitudinal study to determine normal endogenous steroid values were done on samples taken on June 29, July 15 and July 28.The first sample, of June 6, had shown to be positive for an endogenous steroid).

The report also stated : The dope test of June 6 was converted into a longitudinal test by a non-WADA accredited laboratory and in secrecy.

The federation or the lifter concerned was not informed about this.

While the Das panel argued that the three negative tests were proof of the lifter being clean, the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) apparently found the same three negatives as confirmation that there was presence of an endogenous steroid of an exogenous origin.

WADA technical document TD2004EAAS states: The individual basal T/E (testosterone-epitestosterone) value should be determined from at least three test results, excluding the suspicious result under consideration.

If the suspicious test result, when compared to the basal value, using appropriate statistical evaluation, is found to be significantly different, that will constitute a proof of the administration of a source of testosterone.

It is clear that the result from the longitudinal study cannot be read in isolation, but has to be compared with the suspicious result.

Gulati said detailed test results and documents were not made available by SAI.

Normally a hearing can take place only after the B sample test or its waiver on an athlete's request.