National Anti-Doping Agency Director General Navin Agarwal on Tuesday said that those in charge of managing the rowing national camp will have to introspect what went wrong and take responsibility after 22 U-18 Indian rowers failed dope tests.
All the athletes tested positive for probenecid, a drug used to treat gout that is also a masking agent banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
"The rowing federation and it's coaches need to introspect as to what went wrong. If so many players of a national camp test positive for one substance then they have to look at who was arranging all the supplements. Perhaps it was a food supplement that was wrongly taken," Agarwal was quoted as saying by IANS.
"We have issued notices to all the rowers and they have said that they want to contest it. So after necessary formalities the hearings will be held."
Rowing Federation of India (RFI) secretary general M.V. Sriram said that the federation is investigating the matter.
He also said that he is perplexed that test results for samples taken in June 2019 are coming only now.
"The samples were taken in July 2019 and the results we have got in June 2020. We are ourselves perplexed.
"Most of the athletes were from Khelo India. We are also wondering how this could have happened, it could be an error somewhere. It could have come from some food supplement," he told IANS.
Agarwal had said that the RFI hardly consults with NADA, but Sriram begged to differ. "It's the other way around. Every national championship, we write to NADA, tell them please be present at least for the senior championships and let there be surprise checks. They hardly come," he said.
"We have all the facts and details. Now because of the government restrictions, they have to come to the national camps and that is how they came for the national camp last year."
(With IANS Inputs)