World-record holder para-athlete Sandeep Chaudhary could face a problem after he failed to take an out-of-competition dope test when a foreign team of officials reached his room at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here last week, said an official of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI). Jakarta 2018 Asian Para Games javelin champion, Chaudhary, 24, was attending an Olympic Games preparatory camp along with two other javelin throwers.
“When a team of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reached his room at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to take a sample for an out-of-competition dope test, he wasn’t present in his room. He missed the test and it could go against him in the WADA records,” the PCI official told IANS.
The test was to be as per the WADA whereabouts clause, according to which athletes provide their locations to the visiting officials so that they could take samples for out-of-competition test.
An official who is aware of the incident said Chaudhary left the stadium hostel to attend an emergency in his family.
“His father is unwell and he had gone to see him. But he probably did not fill this reason in his WADA whereabouts form,” said the official who didn’t want to be quoted.
This is Chaudhary’s first ‘offence’. If he logs three ‘missed’ tests in 12 months, he could be handed a four-year ban, as per the WADA anti-doping violation rules. However, he has never failed an in-competition dope test so far.
Chaudhary had improved his javelin world record to 66.18 m in the F-44 category on his way to winning gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics. As per the rules of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the top four finishers at the World Para Athletics are eligible to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics this year.
“But the incident of avoiding a dope test has cast a doubt on Chaudhary’s past performance, though he has never failed the test,” said a national level para-athlete.
The PCI official was, however, clueless how Chaudhary could go out of the national camp as he was in a bio-bubble, like other campers. As per the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Standard Operating Procedure, all the athletes have to follow the strict bio-bubble guidelines.
“If an athlete leaves the SAI hostel he or she has to follow a seven-day quarantine rule. In Chaudhary’s case, we don’t know much as the camp is being held under SAI,” said the PCI official.