Chandigarh: Doping continues to be the talking point in the Kabaddi World Cup, with the organizers on Wednesday banning the USA team for its refusal to give samples.
    
Another bad news is that numbers of offenders rose to 38, putting the organizers and Punjab sports department, in an embarrassing situation. The three-week tournament had started on November 1.

Organisers took note of the refusal of some of the players from the America to give their samples for tests.  

"Four players refused to give their samples and under the rules they are automatically treated as positive. Four others were found positive in tests," organising-secretary of the event and former India hockey captain, Pargat Singh said.

The American players had refused to give their samples for the dope test on Monday at Hoshiarpur. While majority of the dope-tainted players belong to countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, there is one from India who had tested positive for banned substance stanozolol.

All the players have been suspended and barred from taking part in the competition till their names are cleared, Pargat said.

The tests are being conducted by NADA, who have dispatched three teams to the venues, to conduct random tests. More than 200 samples have been taken already.

The tournament got off to a glittering start and the inaugural ceremony, held in Bathinda on November 1, saw a performance from Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Asked if the growing number of dope offenders was bringing bad name to the sport and the country, Pargat said, "Look we are committed to ensuring drug-free sporting competition. We have already said that Kabaddi is an unorganised sector. There is no world body which governs it.

We have tried to promote this sport, but to say if more players testing positive will take away the sheen of the tournament, I don't really agree".

"I think it shows our commitment to ensure complete transparency. After all, if somebody has tested positive, we have to take action, we cannot allow players to continue to participate.

As regards NADA earlier stating that we should have got a dope-free certificates of foreign players from their associations, I want to make it clear that this is not mandatory under the rules," Pargat said.

NADA's Director General, Rahul Bhatnagar, said that before the start of the tournament they had written to the organisers to get dope-free certificate of players from their respective countries.

Asked to comment that one of the UK team coach and a player had reportedly threatened an anti-doping team official, Pargat said, "I am not aware of any such incident".

With Punjab going to polls early next year, ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has been potraying the tournament as an important event which will give boost to the traditional sport.

(Agencies)