Less than a year after a major doping scandal rocked the women’s 4X400m relay team, four throwers have been caught in a premier national athletics meet, which was also a qualifying event for the London Olympic Games.
The country’s four top throwers, all of them medal winners in the Federation Cup at Patiala from April 21-24, have tested positive for steroids and stimulants and could face stringent action.
What is interesting is that one of the offenders even represented the country in the just-concluded Asian Grand Prix (AGP) series in Chonburi, Thailand, and it’s pure luck that he wasn’t tested there despite finishing fifth.
Sources told HT on Tuesday that javelin thrower Rohit Kumar, who won bronze in the first leg of the AGP at Bangkok, had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. He had clinched gold in Patiala. On Tuesday, the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) provisionally suspended him.
Discus throw winner Kirpal Singh and silver-medallist in hammer, Harvinder Singh Daggar, too have tested positive for anabolic steroids. The two have also been provisionally suspended.
However, the fourth offender, Anshu Rai, who claimed silver in discus, has tested positive for a stimulant. He has not been suspended but will face NADA panel hearing.Last year, the Athletics Federation of India had said it would check the doping menace after the 4X400 relay team dope scandal, but the Patiala incident has exposed the false promises.