Subramani Siva flashed the victory sign and strode towards the podium at the National Institute of Sport, Patiala. He had just set the national record in the men’s pole vault event in the Federation Cup by clearing a height of 5.15m. His was the last event of the day, and most of the folks watching the day’s proceedings had already left. That’s when he got the first bit of bad news.

An official of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) told him that since everyone had left, he wouldn’t get his victory ceremony. The 21-year-old was also informed of another thing. The National Anti Doping Agency, tasked with conducting dope tests on athletes, hadn’t bothered to show up. “Come to the track at 9am tomorrow to get your dope test done,” the 21-year-old was told by the official.

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