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Drug use, brawling leave stain on Asian Games

December 11, 2006 11:19 IST

Drug use and an on-pitch battle stained the 10th day of the Asian Games on Sunday as two athletes were disqualified for doping and two fighting hockey teams had to be separated by security guards.

In sporting action South Korea boosted their medal count, winning three out of four golds in both taekwondo and wrestling.

China head the medal table with 110 golds from 274 on offer. Japan lie second with 38 and South Korea just one behind on 37.

Uzbekistan weightlifters Alexander Urinov and Elmira Ramileva failed dope tests, Urinov for a cannabis metabolite and Ramileva for a banned steroid, and were disqualified.

They follow Myanmar lifter Than Kyi Kyi in a shameful exit from the Games -- the only three positive results from 750 tests so far.

The hockey teams from Oman and Bangladesh also had little to be proud of after brawling at the end of their pool game at the Al-Rayyan Sports Club.

Bangladesh scored twice in the final four minutes to win 5-3 and the game spiralled out of control in the final stages with players squaring up to each other.

At the final whistle, violence broke out as Oman brawled with the opposition. Security guards charged on to the pitch from all corners to pull players apart.

A Bangladeshi player had to be carried off on a stretcher.


Oman's Husam Al Husni was later suspended for violent conduct, ending his Games. Captain Amjad Sidiq Bait Obaidoon was ordered to control his team and set a good example.

"It's all because of the pressure. The players were nervous and the referees didn't do their job well. They were supporting the Bangladesh team," raged Oman coach Mohy Zaghloul.

Bangladesh captain Musa Mia hit out at the Omani tactics.

"The Omanis were not playing a very fair game," he said. "If the ball goes by they were only tackling the players, hitting them with their sticks."

Indian hockey plumbed new depths when its national team were knocked out, marking the first time in Games history the Indians will return home without a medal.

Sunday's 1-1 draw with South Korea was not good enough having lost earlier in the week to lowly-ranked China.

"The match against China was pathetic and I don't want to say any more about it," Indian team coach Baskaran Vasudevan told reporters.

At the track and field, Qatar's Daham Najm Bashair upstaged world champion Rashid Ramzi to win a thrilling 1,500m final in a photo finish.


The Kenyan-born runner burst through in the final few metres to snatch victory from former compatriot Belall Mansoor Belal in 3:38.06, the latest in a string of African imports to win gold at the Khalifa Stadium this week.

"I can't quite explain how I felt while we were waiting for the photo finish," said Bashair, born David Nyaga. "I always have the best sprint."

Earlier Hamdan Awdah Al Bishi had held off Bahrain's reggae boy Brandon Simpson in the 400m to claim a third athletics gold for Saudi Arabia.

"It was tough competition from Bahrain but I took silver in the last Asian Games so this was the time to get gold," said the 25-year-old. "[Simpson] is a good competitor but it was my day."

Simpson took silver with defending champion Fawzi Al Shammari of Kuwait winning bronze.

Favourite Olga Tereshkova of Kazakhstan held off a strong Indian challenge to take gold in the women's 400m in 51.86.

Manjeet Kaur finished strongly for silver in 52.17, while her compatriot Pinki Paramanik slowed and was pipped to bronze by Japan's Asami Tanno of Japan.

China dominated the women's hurdles with Liu Jing giving her country their first track gold of the Games when she won the women's 100m with a personal best 12.93 seconds.

"I am very, very excited to get the gold medal. I have been waiting for this for eight years," said 29-year-old Liu, who won the Asian Games silver in 1998.


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