New Delhi, Jul 8: The B samples of three India athletes caught last week for using banned substances have tested positive, a top official of India's National Anti Doping Agency said on Friday.
"Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary will appear before an anti-doping panel after their B samples tested positive," NADA Director-General Rahul Bhatnagar told AP. "The date will be announced later."
Jose, Murmu and Mary, all 400-meter runners, were caught using anabolic steroids by NADA and could face two-year bans.
Murmu and Mary tested positive for epimenthandiol while Jose tested positive for methandienone.
They are among eight Indian athletes caught doping this month in tests conducted by NADA and the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Six of them are 400 runners.
Murmu also tested positive earlier in tests conducted by the world athletics body along with another 400 runner Mandeep Kaur, who tested positive for stanozolol. The B samples of Murmu and Kaur in that case tested positive earlier this week.
The most high-profile name among the eight was Ashwini Akkunji, who along with Kaur and Jose, was part of the women's 4x400 relay squads that won gold at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games last year.
Akkunji also won the 400 hurdles at Guangzhou.
Akkunji and three other athletes -- Priyanka Panwar (women's 400), Hari Krishnan (men's long jump) and Sonia Kumari (women's shot put) -- tested positive for methandienone.
The Indian sports ministry has taken several steps to control doping, starting with the firing of 400 coach Yuri Ogorodnik of Ukraine.
The ministry has also sacked four Indian officials and suspended two other coaches, while also nominating a former judge to look into the doping menace.
Ogorodnik has expressed his desire to go home but has been told to stay back pending an inquiry. AP