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Seema Antil not to take part in Doha
December 09, 2006 15:29 IST
An Indian official on Saturday announced that Seema Antil would not take part in the Asian Games, bringing down curtains on the drama over the ace discus thrower's participation in the mega event following a dope scandal.
Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent, Ramlal Thakur said Seema would not be coming to Doha in view of her father's illness.
"No, she is not coming to Doha. She was supposed to come but has stayed back in India. She has been cleared of doping charge, but she is not in a position to come because of her father's illness," Thakur told PTI in Doha.
Thakur had on Friday claimed that Seema would be coming to Doha, betraying a lack of communication between the Atheletics Federation of India and the Indian contingent.
IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh had told reporters that he was not aware whether Seema would come to Doha as it was for the AFI to submit the final list for the events.
AFI Secretary Lalit Bhanot reached Doha late last night but could not be contacted for his version of the developments.
The Indian officials confirmed his arrival but could not give his contact numbers, saying it was not available with them as yet.
In what appeared to be a shocking cover-up, the AFI, in a press release issued in Delhi yesterday, had said that a fast track panel had heard the "alleged doping violation" by Seema and found the athlete to be innocent.
Bhanot said in the statement that the panel relied on "factual" circumstances before giving her the all-clear and paving the way for her participation in the Games.
Minutes later, a letter from Seema, written to Bhanot and expressing her inability to take part in the Games because of "mental stress" was made public, making it clearer that she would not take the flight to Doha.
"Looking at my present performance during training and the circumstances, I am not in a position to give a good performance in the Asian Games. Hence I request you to grant me permission to skip the Games," she wrote in the letter.
AFI claimed it had constituted the hearing panel as per the rules of the international body (IAAF) but left several other doubts uncleared as to when it was formed, who were its members and how the surprising ruling came about.
"The hearing panel is of the view that Seema Antil has not violated any rules and she is innocent. The charges against her due to the conduct should be dropped," the statement said.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage