Suspecting food supplements as the reason behind her dope flunk, tainted quarter-miler Mandeep Kaur has asked the Athletics Federation of India's Anti-Doping Committee to test them during the hearing process.
AFI Director ML Dogra said that Mandeep and another quarter-miler Jauna Murmu have written to the Anti-Doping Committee, which would conduct the disciplinary hearing, to test the vitamin food supplements which they had been taking during training.
"Both the athletes had written to the committee to test the vitamin food supplements and the panel will decide on it. If the panel wants, the test can be conducted at National Dope Testing Laboratory or any other government laboratory," Dogra said.
Mandeep, who won 4x400m relay gold in Commonwealth and Asian Games, and Jauna, who finished fourth in 400m hurdles in Asian Games, flunked out-of-competition tests conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations.
The 'B' samples of both the athletes returned positive for anabolic steroids and they have been provisionally suspended.
A teary-eyed Mandeep, who came here along with Jauna to receive the notice of suspension and for disciplinary hearing, denied taking any banned substance knowingly.
"I am in International Registered Testing Pool of WADA after Asian Games and I am not a mad person that I would take steroids to enhance performance. Steroids remain inside the body for three months and how can any athlete in international testing pool take drugs," Mandeep told reporters.
"I have been running at top level for a long time and have not taken any banned substance in my career. This is the first time it is happening. Why should I do something which would taint the reputation of my family?
"I am sure I will come out clean and I hope that I will given chance to return to athletics," said an emotional Mandeep.
Mandeep said she suspected the banned substances to be present in her food supplements she had bought from the market and not prescribed at the national camp at NIS Patiala.
"We can't win medals at international level without taking food supplements. I suspect the vitamin supplements we took have created the problems. We don't have a doctor and we don't know which drug can create problems. We ourselves can't become doctors. I want supplements to be tested whether they contain steroids," she said.
What could prove difficult for her and Jauna to escape punishment was that they had bought the food supplements prescribed by the coaches without consulting doctors from outside and also without the knowledge of AFI.
"These food supplements are not those provided by government at NIS Patiala. We bought them from the bazar (market). Our coaches knew the food supplements we are having. They accompanied us when we bought," she said while showing more than a dozen cans of vitamin supplements and capsules to the journalists.
Asked if the AFI knew that the athletes were using food supplements bought from outside the camp, Mandeep said, "No, they don't know."
Mandeep also produced the documents of dope result of the two earlier tests prior to the May 25, in which she returned positive for anabolic steroids.
"I have been tested so many times in the past and I have come out clean, I am clean now also. Since I am in the international testing pool, I have been tested twice before May 25 and those have returned negative for banned drugs," she said.
The two tests she was referring to were done on April 25 and May 3.