The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) went against a general practice encouraged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to almost spoil India’s party at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.Suresh Sathya, who took part in the 200m and 4x100m relay events at the Asiad, flunked a dope test and the callousness on the part of AFI has come for serious questioning.Though the federation was aware of Sathya’s positive dope test, it kept the result under wraps and allowed the athlete to compete in not one but two events even as his results were disclosed a couple of days before the events.The federation took the samples of some of the athletes for dope testing on November 14 after their return from Ukraine where they had gone for training in the lead-up to the Guangzhou Games. The AFI sent the samples to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) on the evening of November 15.But thereafter, the AFI did not bother to check the results of the samples and their athletes headed for Guangzhou without any knowledge of the outcome of their samples.The question that remains to be answered is about the urgency that the federation showed for the sample testing even though the Games were already underway. WADA strongly discourages the federations, or even the national dope-testing bodies for that matter, to conduct tests just before any competition.Even though the AFI showed urgency in sample collection, it was hardly bothered to know the results of these samples and it was only a day before the 200m event on November 24 that it got to know about Sathya’s positive dope test.advertisement”Firstly, it was the AFI which collected the dope samples that were sent directly to the NDTL and we had no idea about it.But when we did come to know about the result, we notified both the athlete and federation on November 24,” NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar told MAIL TODAY on Sunday.The AFI continues to remain tight- lipped on the issue and its joint secretary ML Dogra said he was not aware of any notification that the NADA issued about Sathya’s dope flunk.” I have no idea if any of our athletes tested positive and whether NADA notified the federation or not.” But since the samples were coded and NADA was not aware of the athlete who flunked the dope test, it could not reveal the name of the athlete.” The samples are coded and even the NDTL doesn’t know who the athlete is. But the NADA notified the federation that one particular athlete has tested positive for nandrolone and is therefore provisionally suspended from taking part in any competition.” It was the federation’s responsibility to check up with NDTL about the result of the samples which it had collected on an urgent basis. NADA makes sure that it keeps a check on the results of the samples that go for lab testing. The federation, however, did not do that but we still informed them about Sathya’s case in whatever little time that we had,” Bhatnagar added.Sathya ran in the 4x100m relay in which India missed out on a bronze by a whisker. A medal would have meant a mandatory dope test for the athlete.India tasted unprecedented success in athletics at the Asian Games this year and a positive dope test would have come as a major embarrassment for the country.The officials at the AFI refused to respond on the issue and passed the buck to their colleagues, each of whom said that he had no clue about the whole incident.