Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Two athletes banned at Games

AP, GOLD COAST, Australia

Diamanto Evripidou of Cyprus performs with the ball yesterday at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games women’s rhythmic gymnastics individual finals in Gold Coast, Australia.

Photo: AFP

The banning of two Indian competitors for breaching the “no-needles” policy at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and the arrest of some protesters overshadowed the competition early yesterday in Australia.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin said triple jumper Rakesh Babu and race walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi had been banned from the Games and ordered to return home immediately.

A statement said testimony from an Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigator was “credible,” and cast doubt on comments from the two athletes.

“The testimony of athletes Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi, who denied all knowledge ... are both unreliable and evasive,” the federation said in a statement. “Rakesh Babu and Irfan Kolothum Thodi are in breach of the No Needle Policy.”

Babu had qualified for the triple jump final and was due to compete today. Thodi finished 13th in the 20km race walk on Sunday.

India team official Davinder Chaudry held a news conference yesterday and said the delegation planned to appeal the sanctions.

“The question is how they are confident that one syringe is being used by both athletes,” Chaudry said.

“Why did they take action on both athletes? The apartment, they have six athletes in the apartment. So we are appealing on this ground,” Chaudry added.

PROTESTS

Up to five protesters were arrested and one man was in the hospital following a confrontation with police at an open shopping mall at Broadbeach, which is hosting numerous cultural activities relating to the Games.

Police said four men were arrested in the mall precinct and another man was arrested for a breach of bail.

A group of Aboriginal activists had earlier been attempting to disrupt a live broadcast of the Seven Network’s Sunrise program.

Last month, the program aired a segment on the welfare of Aboriginal children that has angered Aboriginal leaders who described it as racist.

Activists have staged protests during the Games to highlight the issues of Aboriginal people, who are the most disadvantaged ethnic group in Australia by most measures from health, to employment and rates of imprisonment.

ATHLETICS

The morning after he was disqualified from the 200m final after crossing in first place, Zharnel Hughes helped England qualify fastest for the final of the 4x100m relay.

Hughes had been given the provisional win in a photo finish with Jareem Richards and did a victory lap after the 200m, but was later disqualified when officials reviewed a tangle between the runners near the finish.

Hughes was ruled to have impeded Richards when their arms collided.

“It’s heartbreaking, but I have to refocus. I have to live with it,” he said. “It was a bit of a nightmare, but it wasn’t intentional. I’m OK. We have great team spirit, and the guys have been very supportive and I wanted to do my best for them. It was important that we got into the final.”

The England team qualified fastest for today’s final in 38.15 seconds, with Yohan Blake anchoring the Jamaica relay to second in 38.44 seconds.

Canada were disqualified.

South Africa won the first heat with Akani Simbine overtaking Australia over the last 50m. Trinidad and Tobago did not get the baton around after a mix-up at the second change.

DIVING

Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow won gold for England in the men’s 10m platform synchronized diving with 405.81 points. Another England pair, Matthew Dixon and Noah Williams, took silver with 399.99 points.

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