The Delhi Athletics Championship descended into chaos after anti-doping officials were called in which resulted in one runner competing in the 100m men’s final and a steeplechase competitor running away from anti-doping officials.
A video had been shared on social media which showed a bathroom full of syringes and packets of the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO). Following this the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had arrived to conduct tests at the event, resulting in the number of participants on what was the third and final day of the competition falling by 50 per cent.
The Secretary of the Delhi Athletics Association (DAA) said “An odd withdrawal is understandable, but when seven runners withdraw, you know something is fishy. There are some throwers as well who disappeared before competition and all of them should be tested by NADA. We are sharing with them details of the athletes who fled. If any of them return adverse results, we will ban them in Delhi and will recommend the Athletics Federation of India does the same. We had written to the NADA on the second day of the competition asking them to come for testing. They have the full right to test those who disappeared.”
Lalit Kumar was the sole runner in the men’s 100m final and said “I was really looking forward to running against the best athletes, but nobody turned up. Everyone was scared of getting tested. As an athlete, I feel very hurt and let down.”
The junior steeplechase event saw a girl continue to run after crossing the finishing line as she was running away from a doping official who was attempting to take a sample from her, the under-16 boys hammer throw also had only one participant and some individuals did not return to collect their medals through fear of being tested.