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Vijender backs dope-tainted athletes

Updated: Aug 03, 2011, 18:55 PM IST

Mumbai: Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh on Wednesday threw his weight behind the eight Indian athletes who recently tested positive for taking banned substances in one of the worst doping scandals that hit the country.

Insisting that doping might not have been deliberately done by the athletes, Vijender said, "It happens by mistake. It is wrong and should not happen in sports. But I`m with the athletes."

Vijender also said that he is aware of how hard working these athletes are.

"When they won medals in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games they had to undergo doping tests and they were found clean then. I know how hard they work."

Quartermilers Ashwini Akkunji, Sini Jose, Priyanka Panwar, Mary Tiana Thomas, Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia were the other two who also tested positive for the same substance.

PTI