Games overshadowed by second positive drugs test

2010-10-12 07:16

New Delhi – The Commonwealth Games was overshadowed by a second positive doping test today as the event’s top official warned athletes about the pitfalls of the massive, unregulated supplement industry.

Samuel Okon, a 110m hurdler who finished sixth in the final, became the second competitor from Nigeria to test positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine.

The same substance was involved in the failed drugs test of women’s 100m gold medal winner Osayemi Oludamola, who is still awaiting results of her B sample.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Fennell said: “On anti-doping, we have now conducted 1,200 tests and again I regret to inform you that we have a second anti-doping violation.

“It is Nigerian 110m hurdler Samuel Okon who tested positive for the same substance (as Oludamola). It’s a stimulant and we have notified the athlete.”

He said a provisional hearing would be held into the matter later Tuesday but that Okon had, unofficially, waived his right to have a B test.

Fennell added that his team had held talks with the Nigerian delegation about the embarrassing results and he was “satisfied they are taking the matter very seriously”.

“They are doing their own investigations,” he added.

After the Oludamola scandal, Athletics Federation of Nigeria president Solomon Ogba reportedly said she was given prescription medicine to fight a nagging toothache and that was why she failed the test.

The substance involved, methylhexanamine, is a stimulant that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned drugs last year.

It was reclassified earlier this year, meaning it can be used with a therapeutic use exception certificate and was the same substance found in 11 Indian athletes ahead of the Games.

Fennell said he was concerned and warned of the pitfalls to athletes of taking supplements.

“We are concerned with the number of incidents that are coming up with the same substance,” he said.

“At this stage I cannot speak very definitively as to where it’s coming from but it appears that it may be coming from the use of supplements.

“The supplements industry is by and large an unregulated industry worldwide and it is an industry that is a cause of great concern, not only for the fight against doping but also the protection of athletes.”

He said a recent WADA probe into supplements concluded that the industry was worth in excess of 86 billion dollars and that many supplements contained ingredients on their banned list.

“Athletes and officials and coaches have been warned continuously to monitor carefully all supplements taken by athletes and that they should pay no attention to the ingredients shown on the labels,” said Fennell.

“There are are all sort of claims as to what is in them and we have found that in many cases the claims are inaccurate. So many are misled into using these supplements.

“I do believe, as a personal comment, that more attention needs to be paid from an education point of view as to the risk one is taking when they use freely available supplements.

“And to the fact that most of these supplements really do not assist with what they are expecting to do, or what the supplements promise to do.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.