Sports Ministry removes Sidhu, 3 other officials

New Delhi: The government sacked four SAI officials in the wake of the doping scandal which has seen eight top athletes failing dope tests in the last few days.

The latest development comes a day after Ukrainian coach, Yuri Ogorodnik, who was training six of these athletes, was given marching orders by sports minister Ajay Maken who has promised to crack the whip on those found guilty.

The sacked officials include Indian coach R S Sidhu and two women of Elite Sports Women`s hostel.

"While foreign coach Yuri has been officially relieved of his services, Indian coach R S Sidhu, who was looking after the women`s 400 m, 400 m hurdles and 4x400 m relay has also been removed," a ministry official told reporters.

"Sidhu has been asked to report back to SAI Jalandhar Centre, where he was posted earlier," he added.

"Two women officials of Elite Sports Women`s hostel have been also been removed," the SAI official confirmed.

According to sources, another Indian coach, Ramesh Nagapuri, has also been removed.

Eight athletes have tested positive for anabolic steroids in the last few days in the worst ever doping scandal in Indian athletics.

Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, her 4x400 relay gold-winning teammates Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar were the quarter-milers who have flunked dope tests.

Besides, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia were also found to have tested positive.

The official said the sports ministry has asked the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to submit a factual fact- finding report on the recent dope positive incidents by July 11.


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