We are ready to cooperate with probe panel: AFI

New Delhi: Under fire after the doping scandal that rocked the country, the Athletics Federation of India on Wednesday said that it is ready to cooperate with the probe panel set up by the sports ministry and help in getting to the bottom of the menace.

The AFI came under severe criticism after eight athletes, including Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji and her gold medal winning 4×400 relay teammates Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, flunked dope tests for anabolic steroids and it said it agreed to the "six point" decision taken by sports minister Ajay Maken after the scandal.

"The federation is ready to fully cooperate with the probe panel set up by the sports minister to go into the bottom of the scandal. We fully agree to the six point decision taken by the minister," AFI director ML Dogra said.

Dogra said the AFI is yet to get any written intimation from the sports minister to submit a report on the scandal but said the federation will comply after getting such an official communication.

"Yesterday, I heard the minister saying so in the press conference but we have not got any official communication. May be we will get it after the probe panel members and its head are announced. We will comply with and send a report to the minister after getting official communication," he said.

"We have also instituted our internal inquiry on the doping episode. The three-member committee will submit preliminary report within a month and final report within three months," he said.

Dogra refused to be drawn into Maken`s comments that AFI secretary Lalit Bhanot and lifetime president Suresh Kalmadi were also to be blamed for the doping scandal.

"I have no comments to make on it," he said. Dogra also said that sacked Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogrodnik is not leaving the country soon nor was he in hiding, as reported by some sections of the media.

"Yuri is not leaving the country so soon. I can assure you that he is still at NIS Patiala. He is not hiding. He has been relieved of his job but he will present his case in front of the inquiry panel set up by the sports minister."

Meanwhile, three athletes on Wednesday turned up at the National Dope Test Laboratory for their `B` sample test. Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas were present for their `B` sample tests.

The `A` samples of Sini and Jauna had tested positive for anabolic steroid methandionone while Tiana Mary had epimethandionone in the in-competition test conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency during the June 11-14 National Inter-state Athletics Meet in Bangalore.

Jauna had also tested positive for the same anabolic steroid in the out-of-competition test conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations at NIS Patiala on May 25.

All of them have been provisionally suspended. Four athletes – quartermilers Ashwini Akkunji and Priyanka Panwar, who tested positive hours before leaving for Japan for the Asian Championships, long jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia – are yet to turn up for their `B` sample tests.

They can test their `B` samples within 15 days of their adverse analytical finding of their `A` samples.