The doping menace continues to haunt Indian sport. The National Doping Agency (NADA) on Thursday announced that nine athletes tested positive for banned substances during the National Games, which concluded in Ranchi on February 26.
NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said the 'A' urine samples of nine athletes, including three from track and field, flunked dope tests, with seven caught using the stimulant methylhexaneamine and one for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.
"A total of 308 samples pertaining to all disciplines were collected as per the Test Distribution Plan prepared by NADA and IOA. Results of about 200 samples tested at the National Dope Testing Laboratory have been received and nine A samples have been reported by NDTL to be positive," Bhatnagar told reporters during the monthly press conference of Sports Minister Ajay Maken.
"Out of the nine, three are from athletics, two from rowing and one each from equestrian, taekwondo, basketball and cycling. We have initiated action under anti-doping rules of NADA. We will now test the 'B' samples of the tainted athletes and will communicate the respective federations after the NADA panel decides on the sanctions on them," Bhatnagar said.
He said two track and field athletes, two rowers, the taekwondo player, the cyclist and the basketball player tested positive for methylhexaneamine. The third track and field athlete and the equestrian players tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol and sabutamol-beta-2 respectively.
Bhatnagar said some of the athletes could be stripped off their medals as 90 per cent of the 308 samples taken during the February 12-26 National Games were all of medal winners.
"There were 34 disciplines in the National Games and about 6500 athletes participated. 90 per cent of urine samples were from medal winners. There are chances that some of offenders could be medal winners and in such a case the NADA panel will decide if their medals are to be stripped off," Bhatnagar said, adding that the results of the remaining 100 samples will come out soon.