Three swimmers, including two in CWG team, fail dope test

New Delhi: Embarrassment piled on India ahead
of next month`s Commonwealth Games with three swimmers, two of
them part of the country`s team for the mega-event, flunking
dope tests here on Sunday.

Richa Mishra, adjudged the best female swimmer of the
64th National aquatic championship in Jaipur along with fellow
CWG teammate Jyotsana Pansare and Amar Muralitharan, tested
positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant banned by the
World Anti-Doping Agency this year.

Intended to be a nasal decongestant, it is marketed as a
dietary supplement.

Swimming Federation of India Secretary Virender Nanavati
confirmed the development and said both Richa and Jyotsana
will be withdrawn from the team if their `B` samples also
turned out to be positive.

"We have been informed by the National Anti-Doping Agency
about the three swimmers failing dope tests. Their samples
were collected during the National Championships in Jaipur,"
Nanavati told reporters.

"They can ask for a `B` sample test but that is their
individual decision. We will see what happens after that
procedure is completed. If the `B` samples of Richa and
Jyotsana also test positive they will be withdrawn from the
team. I can`t say whether we will have the replacements," he

Of the three who have been caught in the doping net,
Muralitharan had earlier flunked a dope test in 2003 as well
but was cleared later that year.

"All three of them have tested positive for
methylhexaneamine," said the CWG Tournament Director
(Swimming) Rakesh Gupta.

Richa won three individual gold medals with one meet
record (200m individual medley) during the Nationals, while
Jyotsana clinched a gold in the 100m backstroke event in

The latest doping scandal comes within a few days of six
wrestlers and two athletes testing positive for the same
banned substance.

That list included this year`s Arjuna awardee Rajiv
Tomar, along with fellow grapplers Sumit (74kg), Mausam Khatri
(96kg), Gursharanpreet Kaur (women`s 72kg), Rahul Mann (60kg)
and Joginder Singh (120kg).

Shotputter Sourabh Vij and discus thrower Akash Antil had
also failed dope tests.

Days before this, net-ball player Megha Chaudharay had
also tested positive for a banned substance.