Indian Athletes Needle controversy: IOA stands by Chef de Mission’s appeal to review CGF court decision


New Delhi, Apr 17 : The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) stood by it’s officials Vikram Singh Sisodia, Namdev Shirgaonkar and Ravinder Chaudhry who appealed to review the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court’s decision that reprimanded and issued a strong warning against them after needles were found in Triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi’s room last week, that violated the CGF No Needle Policy.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court had issued a strong reprimand to Vikram Singh Sisodia, the Chef de Mission for Indian contingent at the XXI Commonwealth Games that concluded on April 15 at Gold Coast, Australia, and Namdev Shirgaonkar, Secretary General AFFI, Ravinder Chaudhry, Vice President of AFFI, stating that they and other persons failed to ensure compliance with the No Needle Policy, and advised the three Officials that any further infractions by any member of the Indian Team of No Needle Policy could result in withdrawal of the accreditation of the offending person.
Vikram Sisodia made a strong appeal to the CGF to review the Court’s decision as the officials had taken every possible step to ensure the athletes followed the stringent rule.
In his appeal to the CGF made on April 15, Vikram Singh Sisodia stated that, “All Team Leaders/ Managers/ Chief Coaches were instructed for compliance of the No Needle Policy. During the hearing, minutes of the meeting were also handed over to the panel which proves that all efforts were made by us to make athletes aware about the No Needle Policy.
During the hearing both the athletes were also informed to the CGF court that they were told several times by their officials about the policy during their Team meetings.”

He insisted that the Officials mentioned in the decision were no way a party to the incident and requested the CGF to review the decision taken by the Court. “Indian Officials mentioned in the decision are in no way a party to this incident as they have taken all the necessary steps in ensuring compliance with the No Needle Policy,” Sisodia said.

“It is unfortunate that the CGF Court reprimanded the Indian Officials who had made every attempt to ensure athletes fell in line with the CGF No Needle Policy. While IOA will further investigate into those athletes who were found with needles in the Games Village, we stand by our Official’s request to the CGF to review its decision,” IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said in a statement.