The London Olympic dreams of two 400m runners facing doping charges, Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu, have nearly come to an end with the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF) taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Last year, the two were among six top athletes who had tested positive for banned drugs. As first-time offender, they were supposed to get a two-year ban under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, but the National Anti-doping Agency (NADA) disciplinary panel announced a reduce penalty of one year.
However, the IAAF has challenged NADA's decision. Mandeep had tested positive for stanozolol and epimethandiol, while Murmu tested positive for epimethandiol during out-of-competition testing at the national camp in Patiala last year.
The IAAF's decision must have come as a shock for the athletes who were given the impression by the Sports Authority of India and the Athletics Federation of India that they would be part of the relay team in the qualification round and could also get a chance to represent the country in London Games.
In fact, the athletes had been discreetly training at various SAI centres. Mandeep and Jauna, along with four other top women quarter-milers including Asian Games gold-medallists Ashwini Akkunji, had tested positive for banned drugs last year.