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Indian athletes kicked out of CG over needle find

Irfan Kolothum Thodi was one of two Indian athletes to be kicked out of the Commonwealth Games after syringes were found in their accomodation © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

GOLD COAST, Australia, Apr 13Two Indian athletes were kicked out of the Commonwealth Games on Friday after syringes were found in their accommodation, a breach of tournament rules.

Triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race-walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi were stripped of their accreditation and ordered to take the first available flight home, Games president Louise Martin said.

A cleaner found a syringe in a cup on a bedside table in their room, and an Australian anti-doping official found another in Babu’s bag.

It comes after India were cleared of doping but given a strong reprimand over unauthorised use of syringes after an unwell boxer was given a vitamin injection.

“Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are with immediate effect not permitted to participate in the Games,” Martin said.

“We have asked the Commonwealth Games Association of India to ensure both athletes depart Australia on the first flight available,” she added.

Babu, 28, will now miss the men’s triple jump on Saturday. Thodi, also 28, finished 13th in the 20km race walk on Sunday.

The Commonwealth Games has banned unauthorised use of syringes in a bid to stamp out doping.

No failed drugs tests have been reported at the Games, but pre-tournament testing snared three Australian athletes and a number of foreign competitors.

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