Sri Lanka threaten legal action to keep drug-tainted Commonwealth Games gold medal

Sunday, 14 November 2010
By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Manju_Wanniarachchi_with_Sri_Lanka_flagNovember 14 - Sri Lankan boxing officials today promised to launch a legal action to try to save the Commonwealth Games gold medal won by Manju Wanniarachchi in New Delhi last month after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for banned anabolic steroids.

Analysis of the B-sample given by the 30-year-old from Kandy conducted in the Indian capital on Friday (November 12) confirmed the results of the first test and that his urine sample contained nandrolone.

Wanniarachchi now faces the prospect of being stripped of the title he won when he beat Wales' Sean McGoldrick in the final of the bantamweight division and being banned for two years, which could keep him out of the London 2012 Olympics.

The victory turned Wanniarachchi into a national hero at home as it was the first Commonwealth Games gold medal won by a Sri Lankan boxer for 72 years.

His image now adorns giant billboards in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Manju_Wanniarachchi_billboard

But the Amateur Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (ABA) claimed that the result of the tests should be annulled because of doubts over how the procedure was conducted. 

"We are going to mount a legal challenge because we are not satisfied with the custody of the B-sample and the documentation regarding who came into contact with it all this time," said ABA President Rohan Abeywardena said.

Earlier this month, a Sri Lankan delegation, led by Wanniarachchi's lawyer, forced the postponement of the testing of the B-sample because they allege the paperwork was not in order. 

Sri Lankan officials claim  that Wanniarachchi may have unknowingly taken the banned steroid when he consulted a physician several months ago.

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