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India Create New Record While Second Dope Scandal Hits Games

New Delhi, Oct 12 : The shooting range provided India with a record 31st gold in the Commonwealth Games when Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh triumphed in the women's 10m air pistol pairs event
PTI October 12, 2010 13:34 IST
New Delhi, Oct 12 : The shooting range provided India with a record 31st gold in the Commonwealth Games when Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh triumphed in the women's 10m air pistol pairs event even as a second dope scandal in as many days came to light to take grab the spotlight.  

 Two silver medals also came India's way from the Dr Karni Singh range while a second Nigerian track athlete, men's high hurdler Samuel Okon, tested positive for the same banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine which was detected in his compatriot and women's 100m winner Osayemi Oludamola.  

Samresh Jung, five-gold hero of the 2006 Games, and Chandrashekhar Kumar Choudhary stood second in the 25m Standard Pistol pairs event for men and world champion Tejaswani Sawant grabbed the second spot in the 50m Rifle Prone individual event for women.  There was a three-way tie among India, Australia and Canada in the women's 10 metre air pistol with all the teams logging 759 points.  

India, with Heena shooting 384 and Annu logging 375, got the gold on the basis of count back after having the same number of perfect 10s (21) as Australia while Canada took the bronze with the least number of perfect 10s (14) among the three.  Tejaswini got the silver in women's 50m Rifle Prone by scoring 594, one more than Johanne Brekke (Wales) who won the bronze.  

 In men's 25m standard pistol, Jung (561) and Chaudhary (542) combined forces to secure the silver with 1,103, 13 behind gold medallists Singapore (Bin Gai and Lip Meng Poh). England Michael Gault and Iqbal Ubhi won the bronze with 1,098.  

The shooting title won by Heena and Annu helped India create a new Games mark on the ninth day of competitions for the number of gold medals won in a single Commonwealth Games. India had returned home from the Manchester Games eight years ago with 30 gold medals. It was also the 14th gold won by India in shooting. They have also won 10 silver and 3 bronze medals.  

The three medals won today boosted India's medal haul to 31 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze, and kept them firmly in the second position ahead of third-placed England (28-49-36) and fourth-placed Canada (23-15-29). Gagan Narang, already with four gold to his credit, will be gunning for his fifth today in the men's 50m rifle prone pairs event with Hariom Singh.  

However, on-field heroics were once again pushed to the background with the unearthing of the second dope case.  

"We have had a second anti doping violation. Nigeria's Samuel Okon, a 110m hurdler, has tested positive for the same Methylhexaneamine substance," said CGF president Mike Fennell at his customary morning press conference here.  

Yesterday the fastest woman of the Games Osayemi was declared to have taken the same banned stimulant and the decision on her B sample, which is being tested, is expected only tomorrow. Pending the result, she remained provisionally suspended by the CGF.  

"It's (Methylhexaneamine) a stimulant and in accordance with our anti doping standard, we have notified the athlete. We will have a provisional hearing later today," said Fennell about the second positive dope test.  

The CGF chief said Okon, who finished sixth in his event, might have waived his right to have the B sample tested in his case, but it can be confirmed only later at the hearing.  

In response to a query why the same substance is being found in the athletes' system following a spate of similar cases involving Indian sportspersons in the run-up to the Games, Fennell said that it might have to do with dieterary supplements taken by the athletes.  

"You are correct, the same substance is coming up. I can't speak very definitively. It appears it may be coming from the use of (diet) supplements. The supplement industry is an unregulated industry worldwide, worth USD 86 billion", he said. "It's a cause of great concern. WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) commissioned a survey on supplements, but I don't have the details.  

"Supplements are widely advertised and a lot of these supplements do not show presence of these banned substances in their content lists. Many are misled into using these supplements. More attention needs to be paid from an educational point of view," he said. PTI