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Two Indian athletes banned from Commonwealth Games after needles discovered

Story highlights

  • Indian athletes ordered to leave after syringes found in apartment
  • Commonwealth Games says it has ‘no tolerance’ policy
  • Indian team will appeal, according to reports

Louise Martin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said Friday that cleaning staff found one needle in a cup on a bedside table. Another needle was found in one of the athletes’ bags.

Babu, who was due to compete in the triple jump final Saturday, and Thodi, who finished 13th in the 20km race walk final, told the Federation Court of the Commonwealth Games that they didn’t know anything about the needles. But their testimony was deemed “unreliable and evasive” according to Martin.

The Court found Babu, Thodi and three other individuals with the Indian team in violation of the Games’ “no needle policy.”

Babu and Thodi were immediately banned from the Games and asked to leave Australia.

‘No tolerance’

“The Commonwealth Games takes a no-tolerance approach to these matters,” Martin said at a news conference. “When the Commonwealth Games Federation says no tolerance, the Commonwealth Games Federation means no tolerance.”

Irfan Kolothum Thodi finished 13th in the race walk at the Commonwealth Games.
Rakesh Babu was also thrown out of the Games. He was due to compete in Saturday's triple jump final.
The Indian team plans to appeal the ruling, the Hindustan Times reported.

CNN has called and emailed the Indian team’s press attache for comment but has not heard back.

Just last week, a doctor with the Indian team, Amol Patil, was warned after he didn’t dispose of needles properly. He said he had given vitamin B to an ill boxer.

The punishment against the Indian athletes comes as the Commonwealth Games nears a conclusion, with the closing ceremony taking place Sunday.

More than 4,500 athletes from 71 countries — competing for 275 gold medals — make up the Games.

News credit : Cnn