Five more athletes flunk dope tests

New Delhi: Doping in athletics on Thursday took scandalous proportions with five more athletes, including Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist Sini Jose, flunking the tests conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency.

Jose, top quarter-miler Jauna Murmu, who was also caught for doping yesterday, another 400m runner Tiana Mary Thomas, long jumper Hari Krishnan and shot putter Sonia returned positive for anabolic steroids in their `A` samples.

The samples were taken by NADA during the June 11-14 National Inter-State Athletics Meet in Bangalore.

Jose had won gold in women`s 4X400m relay race in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games last year.

Jose, Jauna, Hari Krishnan and Sonia tested positive for metabolites of methandienone while Thomas had another anabolic steroid epimethandiol in her urine sample.

"All five of them have been provisionally suspended by NADA," Athletics Federation of India Director M L Dogra told PTI.

Dogra said that the AFI will look into how so many athletes have tested positive for anabolic steroids.

"The AFI is disappointed at the turn of events. We will look into how so many athletes have tested positive for anabolic steroids. One thing we will look into is whether this happened due to food supplements taken by athletes from outside national camps," he said.

"There is no chance these steroids came from the food supplements being given at the national camps. The talk of foreign coaches being hand in glove are also not true," Dogra said.

Yesterday, Sini`s team-mate in the women`s 4x400m relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games Mandeep Kaur, and Jauna, who finished fourth in the 400m hurdles in the Asian Games last year, tested positive for anabolic steroids, leading to their suspension till disciplinary hearing by the AFI.

Dogra said that the disciplinary hearings of Mandeep and Jauna before a AFI panel will start in 10 days.

"Since the tests were conducted by IAAF, the disciplinary hearing will be done by AFI panel," he said.

Hari Krishnan and Sonia are not part of the ongoing national camp while the other three are.