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India boxers didn't dope, insists coach after syringe discovery

 

By Steve Simpson

The coach of India's men's boxing team at the Commonwealth Games has denied doping has taken place after syringes were found in the athletes' village.

Santiago Nieva said one fighter had been given a vitamin injection because he was unwell.

Games organisers had summoned officials from a team they would not name over a breach of the 'no-needle' policy.

It comes two days before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast.

Reports say a cleaner tipped off organisers about the presence of the syringes.

"I'm confident our boxers haven't taken anything," coach Nieva said. "We had one boxer that wasn't feeling well and the doctor has given him an injection."

Asked if the boxer was given a performance-enhancing drug, Mr Nieva said: "No, that was a vitamin substance."

Commonwealth Games officials are analysing the syringes.

In a statement, the Commonwealth Games Federation said: "The CGF have concluded an investigation into an alleged violation of the CGF's no-needle policy. Their findings have been escalated to the CGF's federation court, which will conduct a hearing in to the matter on Tuesday.

"For clarification, this matter is not defined as an anti-doping rule violation, but rather as an infringement of the CGF's no-needle policy, which has been introduced by major events organisers to ensure best medical practices."

Earlier, the federation's chief executive, David Grevemberg, said officials from a country he declined to identify had been summoned to a meeting with the organisation's medical commission.

Grevemberg also insisted rules on athlete eligibility must be upheld at the Gold Coast Games despite Mike Edwards' protest.

Former British high jumper Edwards wants to represent Nigeria at the Games.

Manchester-born Edwards has a Nigerian mother and arrived as part of the Nigerian team. But he is ineligible because he represented Britain at the European Junior Championships in 2009.

Edwards (27) protested at the athletes' village against the eligibility rules of the IAAF.

But while Grevemberg sympathises with Edwards, he believes existing rules must be followed.

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