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 October 13, 2002 | 1054 IST

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Sunita Rani tests positive
for Nandrolone

India's ace distance runner Sunita Rani, who won a gold medal in the women's 1,500 metres at the Asian Games, setting a new meet record, has tested positive for the banned substance Nandrolone.

Rani's first sample, taken after Thursday's race, showed traces of the drug, which is one of the substances on the International Olympic Committee's banned list.

Confirming the development, the chef de mission of the Indian contingent Jagdish Tytler said he was called by the Olympic Council of Asia officials on Saturday night and informed about Sunita Rani failing a dope test.

"We have appealed for a B-sample which will be done on October 25. Till that time we should not draw conclusions. We have to wait for the B-sample report," Tytler said.

Tytler said he had met the OCA officials along with Sunita Rani. "I asked her whether she had taken any medicines but she said that she had not taken anything."

The chairman of the OCA's medical committee Yushio Kuroda, however, refused to make any official statement, but said stories of the failed test had been leaked.

"We have made no official report about her test. This story has been leaked from somewhere. We will have a meeting tonight and release the results when the process is complete," he said.

The OCA officials said that a decision on whether to strip Rani of her medals would be taken only after results of the B-sample are known.

Rani had established a new Asian Games record in the 1500 metres with a timing of 4:06.03 seconds, eclipsing the previous record of 4:12.48 seconds, which was set by China's Qu Yunxia in Hiroshima in 1994. Rani also won a bronze in the 5,000 metres on Saturday.

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