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October 16, 2002 | 1448 IST

Rani stripped of Asian Games medals

India's ace long-distance runner Sunita Rani was stripped of her Asian Games medals on Wednesday after failing to pass doping tests, the Asian Games organising committee said.

Rani had tested positive for Nandrolone, a steroid which assists muscle-building, in urine samples taken after winning the gold medal in the women's 1,500 metres and the bronze in the 5,000 metres.

A second test on the 'B' sample taken from her showed the same results, said Lim Chae-sup, an official at the Asian Games' Doping Control Centre.

The Olympic Council of Asia subsequently decided to strip Rani of the medals and delete her records.

Nandrolone is on the International Olympic Committee's list of banned substances.

It was the first positive doping test at the Asian Games in Busan which ended on Monday. Earlier, a Lebanese bodybuilder was stripped of a bronze medal for refusing to take the required doping test after the competition.

India slipped to eighth position in the overall standings, while Taiwan moved up one place to seventh.

Rani's time of 4 minutes, 6.03 seconds was an Asian record in the 1,500 metres. The previous record of 4:12.48 was set by China's Qu Yunxia in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1994.

Rani won bronze in the 5,000 metres in 15:18.77. She was one of six runners who bettered the previous games record of 15:54.45, set by Indonesia's Sutono in Bangkok in 1998.

In the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Rani won silver in the 5,000 metres and bronze in the 1,500 metres.


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