Indonesia is on the verge of losing its Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games medals due to doping.
Two Indonesian swimmers, Indra Gunawan and Guntur Pratama Putra both tested positive for methylhexaneamine, banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, according to a letter from the Olympic Council of Asia last week .
Both were part of Indonesia’s swimming team at the 2013 edition of the games in South Korea between June 29 and July 6.
Indra won Indonesia’s only gold in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke while Guntur was part of the men’s 4x50m and 4x100m freestyle relay that won silver and bronze medals respectively.
Team Indonesia head Haryo Yuniarto said the team was notified by the event’s doping station on July 5.
“I wasn’t convinced at the time. Then I asked the doping station to bring the test results to the event headquarters and a hearing,” Haryo told the Jakarta Globe.
“There was no error in the procedure as our swimmers signed doping test forms.”
The OCA’s doping commission sent an official letter to the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI) saying it required B samples for examination before confirming or negating the A sample results.
Usually, B sample tests occur if a banned substance is detected in an A sample.
The OCA will take no decisions while awaiting the results from the B sample tests and the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
But as a precautionary measure, Haryo said the KOI has warned the Indonesia Swimming Federation (PRSI)to ban the two swimmers from all competition.
“The decision depends on the level of the substance in the blood. That’s why the doping committee needs to examine the B samples. After that, we’ll have a disciplinary hearing,” he said.
“We have ordered the PRSI not to field the swimmers until a decision was made to prevent further damage even though we know they’re good swimmers.”
Meanwhile, head swimming coach Albert Susanto said Guntur admitted to taking a supplement during the games.
“It was an old product banned by WADA. Guntur bought it from a friend as it was cheaper. He didn’t notice that it was an old [now-banned] product,” Albert said.
“I did some research and noticed that many swimmers were banned for taking the substance and they get one- to three-month bans. So I hope … we can field them in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games.”