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“I have several times made a poor choice by avoiding a necessary confrontation.”

— John Cleese

The Monty Python Flying Circus sketch comedy writers could not have written a more absurd bit than the one that took place in Delhi, India earlier this autumn.

The athletics world rolled its collective eyes when most of the competitors at a Delhi track meet fled when doping control officers showed up. In the men’s 100-metre event, a lone runner competed. The assumption was that he was clean due to the fact he did not run away but ran in the race. A race needs a competitor, so at this time, Athletics Illustrated is not clear if it was actually deemed an official race.

Regardless, the lone runner, Lalit Kumar has now reportedly tested positive for steroids.

The meet took place on September 26. After the other seven qualifiers disappeared from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, officials allowed Kumar to “race.”

The seven all cited cramps and strains for their withdrawal, though officials believe that they had been informed of the imminent arrival of officials from India’s anti-doping agency (NADA).

Kumar allegedly tested positive for the steroid drostanolone metabolite. Apparently, he will launch an appeal.

Not that he would throw his compatriots under the proverbial bus or anything like that, but he was quoted as saying, “Had I taken any performance-enhancing drugs, I would have fled like the rest. I have never taken any drugs. I feel some coaches are involved in framing me,” he told The Indian Express.

“I went to the NADA office and was told that I have to pay Rs 16,500 (£157) for my B sample to be tested. My career has been ruined even before it started. To appeal, I need to find some kind of proof and I don’t have any right now.”

Apparently, petty extortion is common in India.

If so, the World Anti-Doping Agency needs to find the testing agency NADA nada-compliant and re-test Kumar. WADA should attain the original urine sample and compare it to the new sample, taken at a WADA accredited laboratory.

While petty extortion is apparently normalized in India, there was allegedly drug paraphernalia left in the stadium washroom in Delhi. Kumar shown leaving the blocks in his 100m race.

India ranks second behind Russia in anti-doping rule violations in a WADA report published earlier this year. Kenya is third. Russia has a blanket ban for systematic doping.