Bhandari sniffs conspiracy against him

Kathmandu, October 6:

Athlete Rajendra Bhandari said that he sniffed conspiracy against him and was not hopeful of getting the negative results of the ‘B’ sample tests.

“In Malaysia I came to know several negative things that gave me the hints of conspiracy against me,” said Bhandari, who tested positive in the ‘A’ sample after winning two gold medals at the 10th South Asian Games in Sri Lanka in August.

“Before leaving for Malaysia, I was full confident of being cleared through the ‘B’ sample analysis, but now I fear the tests would show positive results,” he said. “Now I am in such a position that I have to doubt each and everyone associated with me before and during the tournament,” he said.

He doubted the drugs provided by Gunter Lange — director of Nepal German Athletics Development Project — might contain the banned chemicals.

Lange, who was closely associated with Nepal Athletics Association led by immediate past NSC member secretary Kishor Bahadur Singh and the Nepali athletes, used to provide drugs to the athletes but the NAA authorities including coach Sushil Narsingh Rana have been saying that the German used to give only the vitamins and calcium.

Bhandari, who became the first-ever Nepali athlete to win double gold medals at the regional tournament when he won the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase in Colombo, also raised question over the analysis reports by the Malaysian laboratory. “I won two gold medals on consecutive days, but the analysis showed two different reports,” he said. “The tests found Norandrosterone after I won the 5,000m race on August 25, while the sample tests after winning the 3,000m steeplechase on August 25 had Norandrosterone and Mestunlene in it,” said the Nepali Army athlete.

“How come the two different analysis by the same laboratory be different while the medical experts say that the drugs should be used for at least 45 to 90 days to be detected in the analysis,” he questioned. “How come the Mestunlene is seen only after winning the 3,000m steeplechase and why not after I won the 5,000m race the previous day,” he asked.

The third point Bhandari raised was related to the Nepal government and the sports bodies of the country.

“In Malaysia, I came to know that the sports authorities in Nepal have not paid the charges of 73 tests carried out during the eighth SAF Games held in Kathmandu in 1999 and eight tests carried out in 2001 by the same laboratory,” he said. “In this context, I found enough room for any one to plot against Nepali athletes,” he said.

“The laboratory — which informed us of sending the report by this afternoon — has not send it till evening. They had asked us to take the reports with us, but we could not collect that due to our flight schedule,” he said.

“I inquired at the NOC, but the officials said that they had not received the report till this evening,” he added.

Asked about his next step, Bhandari said that he would wait for the analysis report before taking any action. “I have no option besides waiting for the results,” he said.

“SRL Ranbaxy can be an appropriate option if the reports showed positive results,” he said. Ranbaxy — the Mumbai-based company that fought for the Indian athlete Sunita Rani and won back two medals she won at the 14th Asian Games in Busan in 2002 — is interested in helping Bhandari as well.

Dr Anil Shrestha, Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Nepal Orthopaedic Hospital, who accompanied Bhandari to Malaysia, said the laboratory was willing to give the report to Bhandari this morning. “They had asked us to stay back, but we could not because of the flight schedule. They have assured us of giving the reports within 48 hours,” he said.