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 October 21, 2002 | 1910 IST

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OCA strips Rani of Asiad medals

Drug-tainted distance runner Sunita Rani has been stripped of the gold and bronze medals she won at the Busan Asian Games, it was officially confirmed on Monday, raising the possibility of an international ban on the athlete.

Olympic Council of Asia secretary general Randhir Singh told reporters in Delhi that he received a letter from the OCA task force on Sunday confirming that the athlete had tested positive for an anabolic steroid and subsequently her medals have been stripped.

"Both her 'B' samples, taken after the 1500 metres and 5000 metres races have tested positive for nandrolone," Randhir Singh, also the secretary-general of Indian Olympic Association, said.

"As per the rules laid down in the OCA constitution, I would like to inform that OCA has withdrawn the medals won by Ms Sunita and is referring the case to the concerned Asian and International Federations for further necessary action," he said.

Rani, who won the gold in 1500 metres, setting a new meet record time of 4 minutes, 6.03 seconds, as well as the bronze in the 5000 metres, will now have to return her medals to OCA so that "the same can be forwarded to the other athletes who have replaced Ms Sunita in the medal standings".

India's Madhuri A Singh, who finished fourth in the 1500 metres, will thus get the bronze while Tatiana Borisova of Kyrgyzstan, who finished second, will get the gold and the silver will go to Japan's Yoshiko Ichikawa.

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