Dope scandal: Sports ministry orders probe, foreign coach sacked

first_imgUnion Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the doping scandal involving at least eight athletes, including the members of the country’s gold-winning relay race team. The sports ministry also directed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to relieve all foreign coaches attached to these athletes. “I have asked for his removal. He has already been removed,” Maken said referring to Ukrainian athletics coach Yuri Ogrodnik, who is being blamed primarily for the use of banned drugs by the athletes. Maken said the government would take appropriate steps once the inquiry panel, to be headed by a retired high court judge, gives its report. He said the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) would set up increased surveillance on sports persons. He also ordered to set up stricter monitoring facilities at all national training centres. The number of doctors at these centres would also be increased. Maken promised strict action against officials involved in the dope scam. “It is seen that the officials and coaches are left scot-free. So the ministry has decided to take action against officials and coaches alongside the athletes so that such things do not occur in future. I have sought a report from SAI within three days after which we may take action against the erring officials of NIS Patiala also,” Maken said. Golden girls Ashwini Akkunji and Priyanka Panwar had tested positive for anabolic steroid in tests by NADA on Monday. Both of them have been suspended provisionally. Earlier, their relay race team-mate Tiana Mary Thomas had failed a dope test during the national inter-state championships in Bangalore. CWG and Asian Games gold medallist Sini Jose had also flunked dope tests earlier along with top quartermilers Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu, long jumper Hari Krishnan and shot putter Sonia. Ashwini was held back on Monday while she was on her way to Asian Athletics Championship going to begin in Kobe, Japan on July 7. With Ashwini and Priyanka testing positive, India’s chance at winning a medal at 4×400 metre relay event in London Olympics next year seems to have dashed. Seven of the eight athletes have tested positive for methandienone or methandrostenolone, which is an orally-effective anabolic steroid used for muscle growth by bodybuilders. The substance is readily available in various countries without prescription but it is included in the list of prohibited substance of the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA).advertisementlast_img

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