CWG, Asiad gold medallist Mandeep flunks dope test
Two leading Indian athletes -- Mandeep Kaur and Juana Murmu have been suspended and face the prospect of a two-year ban after flunking an out-of-competition dope test.
The 'B' samples of both the athletes returned positive for anabolic steroids in the tests conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Mandeep, who won gold in Commonwealth and Asian Games 4x400m relay, and Juana, who finished fourth in the Asian Games, were suspended immediately after the reports of the 'B' samples were known on Wednesday evening.
Mandeep was part of the winning relay quartet that included Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji, Sini Jose and Manjeet Kaur.
Image: Mandeep Kaur
Photographs: Getty Images
Mandeep and Juana face two-year ban
Mandeep and Juana's 'A' samples were taken by an international agency -- International Doping Tests and Management of Sweden -- on behalf of the IAAF at NIS Patiala and tested at National Dope Testing Laboratory in Delhi.
The samples were taken out-of-competition at the NIS Patiala on May 25.
Mandeep's 'B' sample had adverse analytical findings for epimethandiol, metabolites of methandienone and stanozolol, while Juana's had epimethandiol and metabolites of methandienone.
The two have been provisionally suspended by Athletics Federation of India till the hearing by a NADA panel is completed.
The NADA panel will hand out the punishment after the hearing.
Since it is the first dope offence for the two athletes, their punishment could range from a warning to a two-year ban.
Image: Ashwini, Sini Jose, Mandeep and Manjeet Kaur after winning the gold at the Asian Games
Mandeep an important member of the relay quartet
AFI sources said the two athletes have told the officials that their positive result could be due to food supplements they had taken from outside the NIS, where they had been training.
The development is a huge setback for the country, as both were in the yet-to-be-announced Indian team for the Asian Athletics Championships, to be held in Kobe, Japan, from July 7.
The two athletes are certain to be dropped from the team since their 'B' samples returned positive.
Moreover, it will be difficult for India to qualify for the London Olympics in the women's 4x400m relay, as Mandeep was an important member of the quartet.
Image: Ashwini, Manjeet Kaur, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose after winning the gold at the Commonwealth Games