Needle controversy: Doctor escapes with reprimand, India breathes easy at CWG

GOLD COAST, Apr 3: The Indian boxing contingent today heaved a sigh of relief after it escaped any major sanction for use of syringes at the Commonwealth Games village by its doctor Amol Patil, who was let off with a reprimand for not disposing the needles as per stipulated procedure.
Hearing a complaint filed by the Commonwealth Games Federation’s medical commission, the CGF court ruled that Patil had erred in not disposing the syringes as mandated by the ‘No Needle Policy of the Games.
Patil had administered a vitamin B complex injection to an athlete who was feeling unwell.
“Under the No Needle Policy, needles are required to be stored in a central secured location, access to which is restricted to authorized medical personnel of the CGA delegation. The needles in question were not disposed of until he had made two trips to the Polyclinic,” the CGF said in a statement.
“In the circumstances, the Federation Court’s decision is that CGF should issue a strong written reprimand to the Doctor for the breaches.
“A copy of the letter of reprimand should be served on the Chef de Mission of the Indian Team who should be advised to ensure that no further infractions of CGF Policies occur by any member of the Indian Team,” it added.
The CGF had stoically refused to name the national association or the athlete involved in the controversy which flared up after syringes were discovered at the Games Village on Saturday.
But speculation was rife that the country involved is India. The dope tests that followed the discovery of syringes, however, turned out negative.
“Upon questioning, the Doctor conceded that he was aware of the ‘No Needle Policy’ and subsequently detailed all use of needles for the period March 19 to date and co-operated in disclosing all medication in his possession,” the CGF stated.
“The Federation Court found that there was a breach of Paragraphs I and II of the No Needle Policy in that the Doctor left needles in the room while he went to the Polyclinic to obtain sharp bins for the disposal of the needles,” it added.
The CGF cleared Patil of violating the primary norms under the No Needle Policy which require that “whenever an athlete receives an injection, an Injection Declaration Form should be forwarded to the Commission no later than noon the day following such injection”.
The CGF also took note of the bare minimum presence of doctors in the Indian contingent.
“The Indian Team comprises 327 persons in total with only one doctor (apart from the doctor assigned to Boxing) and one Physiotherapist. These are the first Games for both the Indian Chief Medical Officer and the Doctor in question,” it said. (PTI)