Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist quartermiler Mandeep Kaur and last year's Asian All-Star 400m hurdles gold medallist Jauna Murmu have been suspended for testing positive for banned substance on Wednesday. After their B-sample tested positive, they are out of the national camp and face two-year ban.
As HT had reported, the athletes returned positive during an out-of-competition test conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in Patiala a couple of weeks ago.
What's more alarming is that the substance found in Kaur's urine sample is a cocktail of steroids - epimethandiol and stanazolol, while Murmu tested positive for epimethandiol.Athletics Federation of India (AFI) director ML Dogra confirmed that Kaur and Murmu have been suspended until the mandatory disciplinary hearing is over. "We received a communication this afternoon that B samples have also returned positive. The athletes have been asked to leave the national camp for the Olympics, and will not represent India at the Asian Athletics Championships beginning July 7 at Kobe, Japan."
What is more intriguing is that National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) had collected Mandeep's urine sample on May 3, during the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix meet at Patiala. But it was negative. NADA had also collected urine samples of top athletes including Jauna Murmu during the recently-concluded Inter-state meet in Bangalore (June 11 to 14). The results will be declared soon.
The 23 year-old Mandeep, who hails from Amritsar in Punjab, had been a prominent 400m runner of the country for the last 10 years. She has been anchoring the national 4x400m relay team to victory in several international meets, including the Delhi Commonwealth games. The Punjab runner, who is on the rolls of ONGC, had also represented the country in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in 400m race, apart from the relay event.
However, 21-year-old Jauna Murmu, who hails from Orissa, had recently been inducted in the national women's relay squad. She has represented the country at the Commonwealth Games, followed by Asian Games in China. She, however, narrowly missed a bronze in the 400m hurdles, in China.