New Delhi: Twenty-one top athletes, including the fastest man and woman of the Hyderabad National Games, were on Wednesday pronounced guilty of taking banned substances and now face a possible two-year ban.
The anti-doping commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced here that Jagdish Basak and Kavita Pandya, winners of the men’s and women’s 100m sprints at last year’s Hyderabad Games, and 19 others, were guilty of doping.
The erring athletes, including five gold, six silver and four bronze medal winners, have been stripped of their medals and their performances erased from the Games, anti-doping commission chairman Manmohan Singh said.
Swimmer Amar Muralitharan, who also tested positive with these 21, has been asked to undergo further tests and a decision on him has been deferred pending the results.
Weightlifter Sima Golui is the only one from Bengal to have figured in the list of 21 drug-tainted athletes.
“It has been decided and recommended to the executive committee of the IOA that these athletes should be disqualified from the National Games competition. All medals, certificates and awards associated with their performance should be withdrawn,” Singh said.
“The IOA should ask respective sports federations to impose strict sanctions on the athletes immediately,” he said.
As per international anti-doping rules, the athletes are liable to get a two-year ban for violating the anti-doping code.
Singh said no decision was taken on Muralitharan, who was found to have a very high rate of testosterone. A medical board will be formed and he will be tested over the period of next three months after which the commission will take a decision on the swimmer.
Singh said 13 out of the 22 athletes deposed before the commission on Wednesday and most of them said they were unaware of what drugs they had taken.
Singh said that the commission, however, did not recommend any action against the coaches for the wrongdoings of the athletes. “There was a lack of awareness among the athletes. Probably they did not realise what they are taking before the Games”, he said. “They said their coaches gave them some vitamin tablets or ayurvedic medicines. But they said they never got any banned substances from their coaches.” (PTI)
THE DRUG-TAINTED ATHLETES
Athletics — Ramandeep Singh, Sukhjinder Singh (Chandigarh), A. Kalyani, P. Uday Laxmi, Hridayanand Singh (AP), Kavita Pandya (Maharashtra), J. Basak (Punjab), Maha Singh (Haryana) l Rowing — Laxman Singh (Chandigarh) l Volleyball — Gurvinder Singh (Punjab) l Cycling — Nijappa Yenteth l Boxing — B.R. Devendran, Srikanth Poosa, Sandeep Jogu (AP) l Weightlifting — Sima Golui (Bengal), Anitha Kumari (Jharkhand), Parmanand (Delhi), Tejinder Singh (Punjab), Gurpreet Singh, Ranjit Singh (Chandigarh), Venkateswara Rao (AP).