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Athletes blame coach; fear of more positive cases lingers

india Updated: Jul 03, 2011 01:06 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times
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After lying low for few days , Mandeep Kaur, the 4x400m Asian and Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medallist, has alleged that it was the coach’s fault.

Mandeep, who tested positive for steroids, said their coach had provided the entire 4x400m squad with supplements, which in turn led to them failing the tests.

Besides Mandeep, Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas also tested positive for the same salt — metandienone.

The team is trained by a foreign coach who is assisted by three or four Indian coaches. Six members of the team used the supplements provided by him, of which four have already failed the dope test while the results of two, Ashwani Akkunji and Priyanka Pawar, are awaited. All the members of the Asian Championship squad were tested by National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) on June 27.

Tiana, who tested positive during the Inter-State Athletics meet held in Bangalore, was also tested on June 27 along with the other team members of the Asian meet and if her name again appears in the positive list, then it would be because of 'the provided supplements'.

“I only want to say that we are not at fault and it was all due to the food supplements, which was provided by our coach,” said Mandeep. “It is better if you talk to other athletes,” the gold medallist added.

“We have not taken anything wrong and if there is anything faulty, it's because of the food supplements we were having for sometime. And it was the foreign coach, who recommended and provided us with the supplements,” said another Asian and Delhi Commonwealth Games 4X400 relay team member, who didn't want to be named.

None of the Indian coaches in the camp were willing to comment and are already distancing themselves from the scandal. “We have no part to play,” one of them said.