Karachi: Pakistan athletics have been rocked by fresh charges of doping after eight top athletes failed tests at the National Championship held in Islamabad last month.
The Pakistan Athletics Federation today confirmed that the athletes were also found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs and face a two-year ban if their appeals are rejected by the inquiry committee.
“The athletes have been informed about their failed tests and they will now appear on August 22 in Lahore before an inquiry committee set up jointly by the Pakistan Sports Board and the Pakistan anti-doping organisation,” national athletics federation secretary Khalid Mehmood told a news agency.
The tests were conducted during the national championship by the national anti-doping body under the guidance of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
“WADA in its bid to have clean sports has given a special grant recently to Pakistan to hold more dope tests during national events where in the past many such things went untraced,” Mehmood said.
The report of eight athletes failing dope tests comes just few weeks after two other top female athletes, Olympian Sadaf Siddiqui and Javaria Hasan were banned for two years for failing dope tests during the training camp set up in preparation for the Commonwealth Games in India.
Both had appealed against their bans but their appeals were rejected by an inquiry committee of the PSB and anti-doping organisation.
Mehmood said the recent spate of failed dope tests was a matter of concern for everyone including the national athletics federation and efforts were being made to further re-educate the athletes on this issue.
“Many of them end up with failed dope tests because they don’t know what medicine to use during training or competition. They might not be aware of the list of all medicines and substances on the WADA list of banned medicines and substances,” Mehmood said.
The eight athletes who failed dope tests include Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Wasim, Muhammad Asif, Zehra Razzaq, Nadia Nazir, Shafugta Noreen, Rozina Shafqat and Samira Zaheer.
“One of them Muhammad Imran is our national javelin champion while the others are also top athletes at the national level while a female athlete Sumera Zaheer has been to the Olympics,” Mehmood said.