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Posted at: Jun 23, 2017, 1:43 AM; last updated: Jun 23, 2017, 1:43 AM (IST)

Javelin thrower Davinder tests positive for marijuana

How does marijuana work ?

  • Marijuana is not exactly a performance-enhancing drug but it does give an instant kick to an individual’s mind and body. One could experience a sudden rush of blood. It acts as a stimulant which raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.

Sabi Hussain

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, june 22

In a first of its kind case, a top national level track and field athlete has returned positive for marijuana, a drug prepared from the cannabis plant and intended for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine.

Punjab’s javelin thrower Davinder Singh Kang has tested positive for marijuana, traces of which were found in his urine sample collected during the 3rd Indian Grand Prix athletics championships, held here on May 15.

Kang hasn’t been provisionally suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), since marijuana falls under the “specified substance” category in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list of the performance-enhancing drugs. It means Kang would be allowed to participate in next month’s Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, provided the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) accepts his entry, which looks unlikely.

Kang has already informed the anti-doping watchdog that he wouldn’t be appearing for his confirmatory ‘B’ sample testing, which means the tall and strapping athlete has accepted the NADA’s findings. He would now have to prove his innocence before the NADA disciplinary panel.

Kang’s positive test could get him into serious trouble, since the drug is a banned substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Its possession and consumption is a criminal offence under the NDPS Act, with a provision of stiff sanctions and hefty fines. If proven during the NADA hearing that Kang had been consuming it regularly, it could even attract a jail term.

“We may consider taking appropriate action under the NDPS act,” NADA director general Navin Agarwal told The Tribune, confirming the development. “The use of a narcotic drug is an alarming situation. It’s the first time I am coming across such a case, especially involving the use of marijuana,” he added.

Kang recently rose to prominence after he qualified for August’s World Championships in London with a stunning throw of 84.57m, which fetched him the gold medal at the 1st Indian Grand Prix meet in Patiala. He repeated the feat with another gold-winning performance (81.53m) at the 3rd Indian GP in Delhi. At the Federation Cup in Patiala, he won a silver medal with a throw of 83.82m.

His performances made the NADA suspicious and a resultant dope test led to his undoing. Kang was only the second javelin thrower from the country to qualify for the Worlds after junior world champion Neeraj Chopra. Kang’s personal best before the start of this year’s season was 80.21m, which he had achieved during one of the Indian GPs in Bengaluru last year. The Army Hawaldar already holds the inter-services meet record. At the same 3rd Indian GP in Delhi, two other promising athletes also failed dope tests and were subsequently handed the provisional suspension. While Haryana’s discus thrower Prashant Malik tested positive for drostanolone, Kerala’s 110m hurdler D Sreekanth returned positive for methandienone. Both come under the “unspecified substance” list of the WADA.

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