Two top 400m track and field female athletes have tested positive during an out-of-competition test, conducted by an international anti-doping agency, recently.
It has been learnt that the athletes, who are training in Patiala for international competitions, have tested positive for a banned substance.
According to sources, the athletes have won gold for India in both, the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year, as members of the 4x400m relay team. They are currently awaiting their B-sample tests.
Interestingly, the tests were conducted by International Doping Tests and Management (IDTM), a Swedish agency affiliated to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF). The athletes were preparing for the Asian Athletics Championships beginning July 6 in Kobe, Japan, and the World Championships to be held in Daegu in August.
Dope testing officials had collected urine samples of several top athletes but it is learnt that only two failed the tests. The athletes are yet to be provisionally suspended for the offence.
When international dope testing officials trooped down at Patiala, some of the country's top athletes deserted the venue. The officials arrived at the camp last week and are still camping there, according to a national level coach.
Due to the doping controversy, the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) has not taken a final call on the team to represent the country at the Asian Athletic Championships in Kobe. If the B sample of both the runners return positive, they will be dropped from the national team.