Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dope indignity haunts Indian athletics in Year 2011

Posted by Admin On 10:43 AM

After a rewarding 2010, athletics drooping to a low this year, turning out to be the country's dirtiest sport with seven top athletes, including three Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallists, getting concerned in one of India's major doping scandals.

Asian Games double gold-medallist Ashwin Akkunji and her 4x400m relay teammates Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur were among the dope offenders after being caught for using disqualified steroids in May and June.  They were hand one-year bans by a National Anti-Doping Agency panel, virtually ending their London Olympic dreams and more than that rotating them into villains from stars they were last year.

The tainted athletes though had something to smile about as the panel ruled that there was no significant fault on their part as the banned substances could have entered their body from the contaminated food supplement given by their Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogorodnik who was sacked after the scandal.

Besides the trio, top quartermilers Priyanka  Panwar, Jauna  Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas were handed reduced penalties of one-year bans while long jumper Hari Krishnan was banned for two years.

The dope scandal hogged the limelight in Indian sports this year and the sports ministry had to form a one-man committee under Justice Mukul Mugdal to probe into the whole occurrence that rocked the country in May-June.

The group, however, is understood to have given a clean chit to the athletes, holding that they had consumed ginseng - a permissible supplement - contaminated with prohibited substances.  Fairness Mudgal's report to the sports ministry is learnt to have said that the banned substances had entered the body of the athletes accidentally through contaminated food supplements.

The results of the tests done on the food supplements by the National Dope Test Laboratory established that they were contaminated with barred steroids.  At the international scene, India did not have much to show as its athlete expectedly failed to win a single medal in the World Championships in South Korea while they did a polite job in the Asian Championships in Japan.

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