Legends demand thorough probe into dope scandal

New Delhi: Athletics legends on Friday demanded a thorough inquiry into the dope scandal that rocked the country, saying that it has brought shame to the nation.

Indian athletics former golden girl P T Usha said a thorough inquiry should be instituted to go into the bottom of the doping controversy.

"It is very unfortunate that it (doping scandal) had happened. It is perhaps the worst in Indian athletics history and it is painful for the sport in the country," said Usha from Kerala.

"It is the right time for a thorough inquiry. I don`t know who will do this, the AFI or the government. But a thorough inquiry of how it had happened is a must. Everybody involved should be inquired into," she said.

Usha, one of the most decorated Indian track and field athletes, questioned the rationale behind the sending of athletes to Ukraine for training time and again, though she stopped short of blaming it as the reason for the current dope mess.

"I have been hearing for more than 10 years about the futility of sending athletes to Ukraine for training and other dirty things being done there. I think had the authorities been careful and acted on the allegations then the current mess would have been avoided," she said.

Another legend Milkha Singh slammed the coaches and the federation for the doping mess and said the tainted athletes should be stripped off the medals they had won.

"It saddens me that girls who won gold at Commonwealth and Asian Games have now been caught. They have brought shame to the country," he said.

"There should be strict action against the association, coaches and doctors who are responsible for this. Otherwise this problem will never end. All the monetary rewards and awards these athletes have got should be taken away," said Milkha.

National Anti-Doping Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said the doping scandal was all the more serious as all the athletes have tested positive for anabolic steroids.

"The substance they are taking is anabolic steroids that are very serious even from the point of view of NADA rules. Because that attracts immediate provisional suspension and the ban can be two years or even more," he said.

Six athletes, including two 4x400 m relay Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallists Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, flunked dope tests for anabolic steroids.

Quarter-milers Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia were the four other athletes caught for doping.

Mandeep and Jauna flunked out-of-competition tests conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations at NIS Patiala last month while Sini, Mary Thomas, and Sonia returned positive in in-competition tests by NADA during June 11-14 Senior National Inter-state Athletics Meet in Bangalore.

Hari Krishnan failed an out-of-competition test conducted in Pune this month. Jauna also failed the test conducted by NADA in Bangalore.

All the six athletes have been provisionally suspended till their disciplinary hearings are completed and quantum of punishments decided.


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