Mandeep confident of bouncing back

Amritsar: India`s leading female quarter-miler Mandeep Kaur, who failed a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dope test, on Sunday said she is innocent and hopeful of getting a clean chit when she appears before a special panel July 15.

"My heart knows that I am innocent and I have not taken any banned drug. This is why I have not stopped practising and I am hopeful of getting a clean chit when I appear before the special committee on July 15. Winning an Olympics gold for the country is my dream," Mandeep said.

"It is not the end of life and I would face this problem with true sportsmanship. There is still a long way to go to prove my mettle," added Mandeep, a gold medallist in the 4x400 metres relay in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Mandeep condemned Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for not providing her a proper doctor or physician, who could have guided her while taking supplements.

"I have never taken steroids in my entire life. Why should I take them? I have more faith in hard work rather than other performance enhancing drugs. Now failing in the dope test is a big shock. AFI did not provide any good doctor to guide me regarding my diet," she pointed out.

Mandeep tested positive for methandienone and stanozolol. Stanozolol is one of the oldest anabolic agents and Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was disqualified for taking it during the 1988 Olympics.

Mandeep`s mother Sarabjit Kaur also came out in support of her daughter.

"My daughter has won many laurels for the country and she cannot be left in the lurch like this. She is very disciplined in life and dedicated towards her game. I think that someone is falsely implicating my daughter to settle some personal score," Sarabjit said.

"But still we have full faith in god and we are sure that Mandeep will come out clean from this mess," she added.

Mandeep hails from Cheema Khurd village in Tarn Taran district of Punjab.

After the doping fiasco, many fingers were raised at athletes` coaches and against people associated with them.

"We also want our players to win medals and cannot prompt them to take a banned drug. It is not right to hold coaches responsible if any of their players test positive in a dope test. We always guide our players to have a healthy diet," Gurbax Singh, Indian boxing coach, said.


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