LISTEN: Full script of Episode 158 of Spodcast where we discuss WADA's appeal against shot putter Inderjeet Singh’s exoneration and more

On this episode, we discuss WADA's appeal against shot putter Inderjeet Singh’s exoneration, Indian women's cricket team suffering T20 series defeat against England and more.

FP Sports March 08, 2019 13:46:04 IST
LISTEN: Full script of Episode 158 of Spodcast where we discuss WADA's appeal against shot putter Inderjeet Singh’s exoneration and more
  • WADA has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision of the Indian Anti-Doping Appeal Panel to exonerate shot putter Inderjeet Singh in his 2016 doping case.

  • Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth had to toil hard to earn their way through to the quarterfinals of the $1 million All England Championships.

  • NorthEast United FC scripted an incredible 2-1 victory over table-toppers Bengaluru FC in the first leg of the semi-final clash of the Indian Super League

First off, we have a Firstpost exclusive report.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision of the Indian Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (or ADAP) to exonerate shot putter Inderjeet Singh in his 2016 doping case. WADA has sought reinstatement of Singh’s four-year suspension, according to a source privy to the development.

Inderjeet, a 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist and the 2015 Asian champion, had tested positive in June 2016 in the run-up to the Rio Olympics. The Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel’s decision to impose a four-year suspension finally came in July 2018.

Inderjeet appealed the decision to the ADAP, which ruled in December that there were enough discrepancies in procedures and chain of custody to warrant exoneration from the doping charges. His counsel argued before the ADDP panel, headed by lawyer Manik Dogra, that there were discrepancies in transportation and storage of the first sample collected at the athlete’s home at Bhiwani, Haryana, on 22 June. The second sample, an in-competition one at the Inter-State meet in Hyderabad on 29 June that was tested first, reported ‘negative’ initially. However, after an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (or IRMS) analysis, probably by WADA through the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System, the lab detected testosterone precursors — the same as those found in the Bhiwani sample.

The Hyderabad sample documentation showed 20ml less of urine when received by the laboratory. That became a major point of argument for the defence, which clinched a favourable verdict for the athlete at the appeal stage. The ADAP was satisfied that the missing quantity of urine in the Hyderabad sample was good enough reason to doubt its integrity. “The identity of the second sample itself was compromised…,” the appeal panel wrote in its order.

The four-year suspension in the normal course would have stretched into June 2020 giving him little time to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After serving more than two years of the suspension, Inderjeet was back on the field in the recent Indian Grand Prix series, posting a best of 19.35m for second place in the opening meet at Patiala. That was just 15cm shy of the qualification for the Asian Championships in Doha in April. Irrespective of his results in the final selection trials for the Asian meet, the Federation Cup at Patiala from 15 March, Inderjeet could have been expected to be included in the team. However, the WADA appeal in CAS casts a doubt over his immediate future. If there is no stay on his participation, he can compete and then wait for the final outcome, which could take between three and four months. Depending on the decision, his results from the recent meets could be disqualified. Further, his chances of competing in the Tokyo Olympics would be over if the CAS upholds the WADA appeal.

The Indian women’s cricket team suffered its sixth straight loss in the T20 format after losing the second T20I match to England in Guwahati on Thursday.

England won the toss and chose to field. They put on a brilliant performance to skittle out the hosts for a below par score. Katherine Brunt was England’s most successful bowler, taking 3/17 including the wickets of the in-form Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues. Those wickets put India on the back foot and they never quite recovered.

It was once again a familiar situation in the series, with the middle order too failing to contribute much. The experienced Mithali Raj, in the last leg of her career, top-scored with 20 off 27 balls, while Deepti Sharma and Bharati Fulmali contributed 18 each as India finished with 111/8.

In response, England chased down the meagre total in a steady innings that ended with five balls to spare. India claimed five wickets to slow down England’s chase but that wasn’t enough in the end. Opener Danielle Wyatt was England's star performer with the bat, top scoring with an unbeaten 64 off 55 balls. Wyatt struck six boundaries, and was ably supported by Lauren Winfield, who scored 29.

With Thursday’s win, England clinched the three-match T20 series 2-0.

A badminton update from the 2019 All England Championships now.

Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth had to toil hard to earn their way through to the quarterfinals of the $1 million All England Championships on Thursday.

Eighth-seeded Saina rallied her way to an 8-21 21-16 21-13 win over Denmark's Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt in a 51-minute contest. She was blown away by World No 19 Line in the opening game but kept her cool to take the match to the decider and eventually come up trumps against her Danish rival.

In the men’s draw, seventh seed Srikanth recovered from a mid-game slump to register a 21-17 11-21 21-12 win over Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie, his first victory over the Indonesian in the last three meetings. Srikanth came into the second-round match with a 2-3 head-to-head record against Jonatan. The first game saw Srikanth manage to stay ahead and win 21-17 but the second game was a complete turnaround for Jonatan. Srikanth was the one playing catch-up as the Indonesian opened up an 11-6 lead at the break. Srikanth couldn't keep up with the pace of his rival and the second game slipped out of his hand, taking the match into the decider. It was another turnaround in the third game as Srikanth added more power to his strokes while Jonatan committed simple errors. Jonatan then took a medical timeout due to a problem in his left foot. Srikanth grabbed an 11-4 advantage at the interval, and closed out the game 21-12 to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The BCCI’s Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai said yesterday that the BCCI is still seeking an ICC ban on countries that harbour terrorism despite the recent rejection but remained non-committal on whether India will boycott Pakistan at the World Cup.

At its board meeting in Dubai last week, the International Cricket Council dismissed the BCCI's request to sever ties with countries from where terrorism emanates though the Indian Board did not make a specific reference to Pakistan. India and Pakistan are scheduled to face off in the World Cup on June 16.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed, the BCCI, in a letter to the ICC, urged the world body and its member nations to sever ties with countries that harbour terror. Rai said, “Let the time come. It is still four months away. We have expressed our concerns (over security) and they (ICC) said yes, 'security will be tightened' and everything else...It is a process which goes slow. Have we been able to boycott any of the countries in the (UN) Security Council? The process goes on slowly. We have started a process.”

The long pending issue of BCCI becoming World Anti-Doping Agency (or WADA) compliant will also be discussed with ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Mumbai later this month. The matter has become urgent - while the BCCI is not WADA compliant, the ICC and its other members are. If the BCCI doesn't fall in line, the ICC faces the risk of being deemed WADA non-compliant, jeopardising its aim to take cricket to the Olympics by 2028.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said on Thursday that the BCCI had rejected its invitation to attend the PSL final in Karachi on 17 March. Mani said they had sent invitations to the ICC and all its affiliated boards to attend the Pakistan Super League final but the world body's chairman Shashank Manohar, who is an Indian, as well as BCCI acting-president CK Khanna had cited personal engagements for their unavailability. Mani, however, said ICC chief executive Dave Richardson will be in Karachi to watch the game. He explained, “The idea behind sending the invitations is that when they come and see for themselves the arrangements for the final it will change the perception of people around the world about security in Pakistan and convince them it is safe to play international cricket in Pakistan.”

Eight PSL matches, including the final, is slated to be held at the National Stadium here under tight security with soldiers from the paramilitary Rangers, Frontier Corps and the Sindh Police being deputed to avert any eventuality.

A PCB official said the invitations to the ICC Chairman, CEO and heads of its affiliated boards were sent out before relations between India and Pakistan had deteriorated in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

An ISL update now. NorthEast United FC scripted an incredible 2-1 victory over table-toppers Bengaluru FC in the first leg of the semi-final clash of the Indian Super League yesterday.
In four attempts since last season, NorthEast United came up second best, but when it mattered most, the hosts turned it around majestically at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. NorthEast took control of the game and pressed Bengaluru high up the field right from the start.

The hosts enjoyed much more freedom on the wings and created chances from crosses into the box. Bengaluru looked scratchy and struggled to make an impact in the attacking third. They paid the price in the first half as Redeem Tlang scored in 20th minute to give the hosts the lead. NorthEast were then dealt huge blows as Bartholomew Ogbeche and Rowllin Borges were forced off the field at the end of the first half due to injuries. An improved second half from Bengaluru resulted in a goal by Xisco Hernandez in the 82nd minute to make it 1-1. But a late penalty from Juan Mascia in the 93rd minute handed the advantage back to Eelco Schattorie's side.

The second leg will next be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on 11 March.

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