CHENNAI : A day after news broke that five Indian athletes including 400m runner Nirmala Sheoran failed dope tests, sources close to Athletics Federation of India said some have asked for B sample tests, while few accepted their mistake.The athletes who failed tests apart from Sheoran are middle-distance runners Sanjivani Jadhav and Jhuma Khatun, discus thrower Sandeep Kumari and shot-putter Naveen. Samples were collected sometime around the inter-state meet in Guwahati in June. The adverse findings were communicated to AFI’s doctor on Monday.
Although some athletes have asked for B sample test, all of them will be suspended with immediate effect following rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations, which prescribes four-year bans for such offences.
“I don’t want to name the athletes who have asked for B samples. But the others will have to serve a four-year-ban according to IAAF,” the source said. The AFI was not directly informed about the tests. “NADA intimated the AFI doctor and the respective athletes.”
Sheoran had won gold at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar last year. She was part of India’s Asian Games contingent this year. The point to note is, the meet in Guwahati was supposed to be a selection trial for the Asiad. “To test such a huge squad right before a major event is next to impossible. That is why we did not test them before the Games even though some of them were not regular national-campers,” said sources.
Those who have asked for B sample tests have to go through many formalities. There are procedures such as fixing a date and venue that has facilities to conduct different tests. “The AFI has no say here. Those who are guilty will have to serve a ban. But some have decided to challenge the result. If that is the case, then a decision will be taken only after B sample results are out.”