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Pills a no-no for Aparna

Bangalore: The three-month ban she received in 2000 after inadvertently taking a tablet containing a banned substance, India’s top woman badminton player Aparna Popat does not want to take any chances this time.

Though she has been suffering from a stomach ailment for the last 15 days, Aparna has been refusing medication.

More than three years ago, she took a common, over-the-counter drug for sinusitis without knowing that it contained a banned substance and paid a heavy price.

“I am having a stomach ailment for the past 15 days but I am not taking any medicine. But it’s minor in nature. It will not affect my performance...Not at all,” Aparna, who leaves here for New Delhi on her way to Birmingham to take part in the World Badminton Championships beginning July 28, said on Thursday.

“Now that I am not taking any medicine, I can be cool with the dope test for the Birmingham event,” she said.

On her prospects at the world championships, Aparna said it was a tough draw. She runs into world number 25 from Hong Kong, Wan Ting Ling, in the opening round.

In the two times they have met, Aparna has beaten her once and lost once. “It’s an even match”, she said.

If she is able to clear the first two hurdles, she is likely to meet second seeded Zhang Ning of China in the pre-quarters.

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