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CWG 2018: Two Indian athletes sent home after needle found in room

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Indian athlete Rakesh Babu

Gold Coast, April 13: Indian duo Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi have been kicked out of the Commonwealth Games athletes' village and sent home after a needle was found in their room on the Gold Coast.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed triple jumper Babu and race walker Thodi had breached the "no needle policy" following a hearing Thursday, with the pair put on the next flight back to India.

Cleaners found a syringe in a cup on the bedside table in Babu and Thodi's room, while an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigator also discovered a needle in Babu's bag.

"The testimony of athletes Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi who denied all knowledge of the needle in the cup in Bedroom two and the further testimony of Rakesh Babu that he had no knowledge of the syringe found in his bag in Bedroom two are both unreliable and evasive," CGF president Louise Martin said in a statement read to reporters Friday.

"Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are in breach of the No Needle Policy in that they failed to ensure compliance with the No Needle Policy and, in particular, failed to ensure compliance with paragraphs I, II, III and IV of the No Needle Policy.

"In the circumstances: The CGF shall issue a strong reprimand to Vikram Singh Sisodia, Namdev Shirgaonker and Ravinder Chaudhry that they and other persons failed to ensure compliance with the No Needle Policy.

"The CGF shall advise Vikram Singh Sisodia, Namdev Shirgaonker and Ravinder Chaudhry that any further infractions by any member of the Indian Team of the No Needle Policy could result in the withdrawal of accreditation of the offending person. Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are with immediate effect not permitted to participate in the Games."

Chef de Mission Vikram Singh Sisodia, general team manager Namdev Shirgaonker and athletics team manager Ravinder Chaudhry were reprimanded.

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Friday, April 13, 2018, 8:30 [IST]
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