Golden Girl Turns Subject Of Hate In India


In what has become almost inevitable at multi-sports events, Commonwealth Games  Federation president Mike Fennell announced the first doping case of the New Delhi Games,  saying Osayomi Oludamola Women 100m and Samuel Okon 110 hurdles 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 games open on 3 October, Fennell  said, and so far Oludamola had returned the only positive.

Fennell said Oludamola 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 observers  later ruled that the provisional suspension would continue until the “B” sample results  are received in New Delhi, the CGF said in a statement on TimesofIndia.

“If the allegations are true it’s most unfortunate for us,” Nigeria’s chef de mission  Elias Gora said. “I’m disappointed and I’m sure people back home will also be  disappointed, too.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency 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.

The women’s 100m has led to a lot of confusion in New Delhi.

Sally Pearson, the Olympic hurdles silver medalist, thought she had won the 100m race  last week, but hours after crossing the line first she was disqualified for a previous  false start.

Pearson finally got a Commonwealth Games, though, winning the 100m hurdles on Monday.

This time, there was no question. She got off fast and led for the entire race, finishing  in a games record of 12.67 seconds at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

“It has been a horrible week because of the disqualification,” Pearson said. “I am just  relieved and I am just happy now. I did not even have to look, I just knew I had won the  gold.”

Stayaway big names and small crowds have sometimes made the Delhi athletics look like an  obscure, late-season meeting but some 45 000 fans raised the roof at the Jawaharlal Nehru  Stadium when Poonia ended the 52-year wait for an athletics title.

“It’s amazing,” she said, after also leading her country’s first athletics podium sweep.

“I dedicate this medal to all the Indians. With this I think we wiped out everything bad  that was happening before the Games and came out united.”

A cascade of gold medals for the host nation has already helped in the domestic battle to  gloss over the embarrassment of the calamitous preparations for the Games and continuing  organisational blunders.

There was even a smattering of applause for chief local organiser Suresh Kalmadi when he  presented the trio of Indians with their medals, eight days after he was booed at the  opening ceremony.

Kalmadi has borne the brunt of public rage for the rash of problems that have beset the  Games for 71 mostly former British colonies, turning what India had hoped would be a  display of soft power into a public relations disaster.

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Poonia’s achievement would have been unlikely had Australia’s world champion Dani Samuels  not been one of several athletes who pulled out of the Games through safety fears,  however.

Several more top athletes, including world and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt,  skipped the event for scheduling reasons and Steve Hooker gave an insight into why after  winning the pole vault in a modest 5.60 metres.

“One of the reasons it’s been such a tough year is I’ve always had the Commonwealth Games  in the back of my mind. A championship in October is a real challenge,” said the  Australian, also a world and Olympic champion.

Hooker’s gold helped Australia to move to 64 golds atop the medal table with hosts India  second on 30 just ahead of England (26). Diver Alexandre Despatie won his eighth  Commonwealth gold to boost Canada to 23 in fourth.

Moses Kipsiro boosted Uganda’s gold tally to two by completing the first long-distance  double at a Games for 72 years with a thrilling victory in the 10 000m.

As in his 5 000m victory on the opening night, he won a last-lap sprint to deny Kenya  victory. The Kenyans had to be satisfied with a fourth consecutive sweep in the 3 000m  steeplechase.

Pearson, who had been disqualified for a false start in last week’s sprint three hours  after the race, crossed the line to win the 100m hurdles with a huge smile on her face  before collapsing on the track sobbing.

“It was a very difficult week,” she said. “I tried my best to keep training and keep my  focus.”

Oludamola faces a tense wait to discover the result of a test on her B sample after the  first sample showed traces of the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. An announcement is  expected on Wednesday.

With out-of-competition issues constantly overshadowing New Delhi 2010, Fennell said he  was uncertain what effect the doping case 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 had doping cases. The International Olympic  Committee stripped Poland’s cross-country skier Kornelia Marek, who tested positive for  EPO, of all her results from the Vancouver Winter Olympics earlier this year, although  she did not win any medals.

After a French lab devised a test for the advanced blood-booster CERA, the International  Olympics Committee retested samples from the 2008 Beijing Games and disqualified five  athletes for CERA use. There was one positive test during the Turin Games in 2006, with  Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a  banned stimulant.

In addition, Italian police raided the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and  biathlon team outside Turin, seizing blood-doping equipment. No Austrian athletes tested  positive at the time, but six were later banned by the IOC for involvement in the  scandal.

Testing was continuing in New Delhi, with medalists in all events tested and others done  at random.

The games end on Thursday, and street kids will have a chance to see the closing  ceremonies. The Delhi government has asked the games’ organising committee to reserve 700  tickets which it will buy.

The tickets will be distributed to 200 children who live and work on the streets of this  city of 12 million. The other 500 will go to students of government schools.

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