Commonwealth Games: Indian boxers cleared of doping in syringe scandal

In the ring on the Gold Coast, India’s boxers are fighting - not just for their country, but also to clear their names.

For days, the sporting world has wondered – why would a team use banned syringes in the athlete’s village at the Commonwealth Games?

Now we know - it wasn’t doping, just a very dopey move.

"This matter is now not being defined as an anti-doping rule violation, but rather as an infringement of the CGF no-needle policy," says Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg. 

While authorities have refused to identify the culprits officially, the Games medical commission has cleared them of a doping violation after testing the syringes for drugs and DNA.

India media has already outed their boxers as the offenders and their boxing coach confirmed they did use needles, but it was vitamins inside.

"We had one boxer who didn’t feel well and doctors have given him an injection," says coach Santiage Nieva. "Maybe they don’t understand the severity of this no-needle policy, but now for sure they will understand it.

At least, for now, doping doubts have eased. There are no other drug investigations and that’s great news for all involved.

The spotlight hasn’t just been on India, but the integrity of the Games themselves.

 And though it might seem an innocent mistake, India’s still guilty of breaking rules and appeared on Tuesday in a special court that will judge the breach of the no-needles ban.

David Commonwealth Games Federation CEO

"Is it an ethical violation?" wonders Grevemberg. "Is it an administrative violation… and then being able to ascertain what punishment fits the crime."

The crime could bring a range of sanctions – from a simple warning all the way to a ban.