Whoever was managing the rowing national camp in July 2019 has to take responsibility for the 22 cases of dope test failures that have emerged from there, said National Anti-Doping Agency Director General Navin Agarwal.

NADA holds rowing federation and coaches responsible for 22 dope test failures

"The rowing federation and its coaches need to introspect as to what went wrong. If so many players of a national camp test positive for one substance then they have to look at who was arranging all the supplements. Perhaps it was a food supplement that was wrongly taken," Agarwal told IANS on Tuesday.

Indian Rowers
Gold medal winner Bajrang Lal Takhar (L) of India competes against Law Hiu Fung (1) of Hong Kong, Haeider Hamaraheid (2) of Iraq and Vladimir Chernenko (top) of Uzbekistan during the men's single sculls rowing final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010.Reuters

"We have issued notices to all the rowers and they have said that they want to contest it. So after necessary formalities the hearings will be held."

Rowing Federation of India (RFI) secretary-general M.V. Sriram said that the federation is investigating the matter.

He also said that he is perplexed that test results for samples taken in June 2019 are coming only now.

"The samples were taken in July 2019 and the results we have got in June 2020. We are ourselves perplexed.

"Most of the athletes were from Khelo India. We are also wondering how this could have happened, it could be an error somewhere. It could have come from some food supplement," he told IANS.

Agarwal had said that the RFI hardly consults with NADA, but Sriram begged to differ. "It's the other way around. Every national championship, we write to NADA, tell them please be present at least for the senior championships and let there be surprise checks. They hardly come," he said.

"We have all the facts and details. Now because of the government restrictions, they have to come to the national camps and that is how they came for the national camp last year."