Any NZ case of doping at Games would be treated 'aggressively'

6:18 pm on 2 April 2018

Any cases of doping by a New Zealand athlete will be treated "aggressively," the head of New Zealand's Commonwealth Games team says.

New Zealand Chef de Mission Rob Waddell.

New Zealand Chef de Mission Rob Waddell. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Commonwealth Games chiefs have summoned a competing nation to a meeting over what they describe as a "clear breach" of the Games' no-needle policy.

An investigation was launched after injection needles were discovered by a cleaner at the Gold Coast athletes' village.

New Zealand's Chef de Mission, Rob Waddell, said the investigation did not involve the New Zealand team.

But he said anti-doping was taken seriously by the team, and any violation of the rules would be treated aggressively.

He said the team was conscious of integrity, and wanted to promote that throughout sport.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) today confirmed the breach following investigations into the weekend discovery of needles and syringes.

Federation chief executive David Grevemberg would not reveal the nation involved but said their officials had been summoned to a meeting with the medical commission this afternoon.

"This is very much an ongoing investigation but there has been a clear breach to the no-needle policy and the CGA has been summoned to meet with the medical commission," Mr Grevemberg said.

"These needles have been brought in and there was no approval for them to be there."

Mr Grevemberg said any substance within the syringes was yet to be determined.

Despite the CGF reporting the items were found by a cleaner, Indian team manager Ajay Narang has said his team found syringes in a water bottle outside their accommodation and he took it to the medical commission for analysis.

India's chef de mission did not return calls on Monday but the Press Trust of India quoted an unnamed Indian official denying their athletes had done anything untoward.

"The syringes were not found in Indian athletes' rooms," the official said.

"It's in the same building where athletes from many countries are residing. It does not belong to us."

Queensland's Commonwealth Games Minister, Kate Jones, indicated the syringes were being tested for DNA as well as any banned substance.

Games Corporation chairman Peter Beattie said the situation was "very unhelpful" with just two days to go until Wednesday's opening ceremony.

"However I think the most important thing from the Games point of view is to make certain that the appropriate processes are followed and if there's a penalty that needs to be applied, that it's applied," he said.

The CGF promised a zero-tolerance approach to doping and said any athletes caught cheating would be thrown out of the Games.

"It really depends on the nature of the breach - if this was accidental, if it was administrative," Mr Grevemberg said.

"What's the nature of this? Is it sinister or is it something more significant?"


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