Embarrassment piled on India on Wednesday barely a month ahead of the Commonwealth Games with four athletes, including three in Games squad, failing their 'B' sample tests while a weightlifter was also caught for a banned substance in New Delhi.
The 'B' samples of two Commonwealth Games-bound swimmers -- Richa Mishra and Jyotsana Pansare -- and a shot putter Saurabh Vij returned positive for methylhexaneamine.
Haryana discus thrower Aakash Antil, who was not in the Games squad, also failed his 'B' sample test for the same methylhexaneamine.
"Richa, Jyotsana, Saurabh and Antil's 'B' samples have tested positive. So we are sending them what is called the second notice to face (NADA) disciplinary panel. We have asked the panel chief to fix an early date for a hearing. All of them have tested positive for methylhexaneamine," NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said.
"The punishment to be handed on them will be decided by the disciplinary panel," he added.
Bhatnagar also confirmed that 53kg woman weightlifter Sanamacha Chanu, who was added in the Commonwealth Games core group in August last year but did not make it to the CWG squad announced last month, tested positive for methylhexaneamine.
"One lifter Thingbaijam Sanba (Sanamacha) Chanu has tested positive for methylhexaneamine," he said.
The 31-year-old Chanu, one of the most successful woman weightlifters in the country and an Arjuna awardee in 2000, returned positive in the NADA test conducted at the Commonwealth Games trials here last month.
She is expected to face life ban if her 'B' sample also turns out to be positive and she is unable to clear her name before a NADA appeal panel since she had already been banned for two years after flunking a dope test at 2004 Athens Olympics.
Chanu's dope flunk came days after Indian Weightlifting Federation completed payment of a hefty $5 lakh fine to the international body after its six lifters failed WADA dope tests conducted last September.
The country's lifters were allowed to take part in next month's Commonwealth Games here after the CWG OC gave an interest-free loan of Rs 1.75 crore for the IWF to pay the remaining two installments of the $5 lakh fine by August 31.
Indian Weightlifting Federation secretary Sahdev Yadav said that one lifter, who was not in the Commonwealth Games squad announced last month, had returned positive for a banned substance but refused to divulge the name.
"One lifter has tested positive but under rules we don't give names till the 'B' sample result comes. The 'B' sample result is expected to come by Monday. But I can say that the lifter is not among the Commonwealth Games squad," he said.
The two swimmers Richa and Jyotsana can now apply to appear before the NADA disciplinary panel to plead their case but they would be out of Commonwealth Games.
Swimming Federation of India Secretary Virender Nanavati said that Richa and Jyotsana would not compete in the Commonwealth Games.
"They can now appear before the NADA disciplinary panel on their application. But that is more of a formality and they are technically out of the Commonwealth Games," Nanavati said.
Richa, who was adjudged the best female swimmer of the 64th National Aquatic Championship in Jaipur, and Jyotsana were named in the CWG swimming squad.
Delhi boy Saurabh was also named in the CWG squad. Antil, a young Haryana discus thrower, was not among the CWG core group.
The stimulant, which was widely available in dietary supplements and added in the WADA list of banned substances only this year, has been in the centre of a controversy with as many as 11 athletes returning positive in the past week.
Four of them -- men's freestyle wrestlers Rajiv Tomar (120kg), who was conferred Arjuna Award last month, Sumit (74kg) and Mausam Khatri (96kg) and women's freestyle wrestler Gursharanpreet Kaur (72kg) -- were removed from Commonwealth Games squad.
Rahul Mann (60kg men's freestyle) and Joginder Singh (55kg men's Greco Roman) were the other two wrestlers found positive.