The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Two more banned

New Delhi: While India’s premier athletic body Saturday banned sprinter Jagdish Basak and hurdler Kalyani Alapati for two years after they tested positive for doping in the National Games held in December, the association Sunday also suspended women’s 100m sprint champion Kavita Pandya and hurdler Udaya Laxmi until further notice for taking an anabolic steroid.

The last two had been identified among the eight by the AAFI, but had been waiting the verdict.

Basak, winner of the men’s 100 m, and Alapati, who took bronze in the women’s 400 m hurdles, both tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone.

Of the eight identified, four other — Ramandeep Singh, Maha Singh, Hridayanand Singh and Sukhjinder Singh — were warned and disqualified from the competition after they were caught using stimulants and also face suspension.

In a hard-hitting interview to a newspaper, Laxmi, one of the 22 athletes to have tested positive at the Hyderabad National Games last year, said she and many of her colleagues were forced by the Andhra Pradesh officials to take drugs so that “Andhra Pradesh could come on top”.

In Chandigarh legendary athlete Milkha Singh has called for exemplary punishment for the guilty so that it could act as a deterrent for all other sportspersons in the country.

“These days the youth want to do everything in just a year through intake of drugs,” Milkha Singh, who is also the chief of Punjab Amateur Athletic Federation said here.

“Banning such players from participating further in events will send a signal for the future sportspersons to refrain from indulging in use of banned substances,” the ‘Flying Sikh’ said.

Welcoming the decision of the AAFI to act against at least six athletes, including four from Punjab, Milkha said the use of drugs by sportspersons is spreading like a cancer.

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