New Delhi, Jul 11 : Dope tainted athlete Ashwini Akkunji's London Olympics dreams are virtually over as her ‘B' sample also tested positive for anabolic steroids and she now faces the prospect of a two-year ban for her offence. Another quartermiler Priyanka Panwar's ‘B' sample also tested positive for anabolic steroids.
Ashwini and Priyanka had their ‘B' samples tested on Thursday at the National Dope Testing Laboratory here and the results, which came today, confirmed the presence of methandionone in them.
“We have received papers from the NADA that both Ashwini and Priyanka's ‘B' samples have tested positive for the same anabolic steroids found in their ‘A' sample,” Athletics Federation of India Director M L Dogra told PTI. Ashwini and Priyanka, who were caught for doping just hours before they were to leave the country for the July 7-10 Asian Athletics Championships in Japan, will now be heard by a NADA Disciplinary Panel.
Both have been provisionally suspended by the AFI pending the decision by the NADA panel.
The maximum punishment if found guilty is a two-year ban as both committed their first dope offence. This would make Ashwini, double gold medallist in the Asian Games—in 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay—virtually out of contention for a 2012 Olympics berth. She is yet to qualify for the London Olympics.
She will also miss the August 27-September 4 World Championships in Daegue, South Korea, though she has qualified for the event in 400m hurdles.
Ashwini's gold-winning relay team-mates Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose had also tested positive for anabolic steroids in one of the worst doping scandals in Indian sports. Quartermilers, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and Sonia were the others who were caught for using anabolic steroids. Meanwhile, in Bangalore, in another crackdown in the backdrop of athletics doping scandal, a team of National Anti-Doping Agency today conducted raids at the Sports Authority of India's centre and took samples from the campers there for testing.
The team, headed by Dr V Jayaraman, searched the rooms of the campers, took urine samples and checked the medical supplies at the centre, SAI sources said. The raid was part of the countrywide crackdown on doping in sports following the recent doping scandal involving eight Indian track and field athletes.
NADA National Anti Doping Agency had last week conducted a surprise raid at the rooms of campers and coaches at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala and took urine samples from the sportspersons training there for testing. NADA sources said that such raids are likely to be conducted in other SAI Centres also.
The Bangalore SAI Centre has trainees from various disciplines, including track and field athletes, women weightlifters and hockey players.
Eight track and field athletes tested positive for anbolic steroids in one of the worst doping scandals in the country.
Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji, who were part of the 4x400m relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year, and three other quartermilers Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar trained at NIS Patiala.
Of the other two dope-tainted athletes, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan trained at Pune while Sonia was not in any national camp. PTI