NEW DELHI // After a host of self-induced problems that brought bad publicity for the Commonwealth Games organisers, a new one surfaced yesterday that was completely out of their control: a positive drug test.
In what has become almost inevitable at multi-sports events, Mike Fennell, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, announced the first doping case of the New Delhi Games, saying Oludamola of Nigeria tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylexanemine and could be stripped of her gold medal in the 100m.
The New Delhi event has been plagued by problems with ticketing, near-empty stadiums, construction delays and filthy conditions in the athletes' village before the Games began. More than 900 doping tests have been conducted since the event opened on October 3 and, so far, Fennell said, Osayomi had returned the only positive. Fennell said Osayomi has been notified of the adverse finding and had requested the testing of the "B" sample.
A Federal Court hearing involving Fennell, lawyers and World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) observers later ruled a provisional suspension would continue until the "B" sample results are received, which would be tomorrow at the earliest, the Commonwealth Games Federation said in a statement. "If the allegations are true it's most unfortunate for us," Elias Gora, Nigeria's chef de mission, said. "I'm disappointed and I'm sure people back home will also be disappointed, too."
Wada recently loosened the classification of Methylexanemine for next year to the "specified stimulant" list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties. Yesterday, Fennell said he was uncertain what effect the positive test would have on the Games. "Any positive test, whether it is in a high-profile event or not, is something that is very much regretted for a clean Games, clean sport and a clean competition," Fennell said, adding that no decision had been made on the medals.
Most of the Olympic Games this decade have experienced doping cases and several athletes who tested positive have been stripped of their results. Testing was continuing in New Delhi, with medallists in all competitions tested and others done at random.