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Now, 13 National Games athletes test positive

The doping scandal just refuses to die down, with as many as 13 more national level athletes flunking their A Sample tests undertaken by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). These athletes are under the scanner of the Medical and Anti-Doping Commission of the Indian Olympic Association and NADA and have been put in front of the NADA-appointed Dinesh Dayal Panel.

The tainted athletes had tested positive during the National Games in Jharkhand this February and their cases will be up for hearing.

Dilbag Singh

Dilbag Singh (in blue) has tested positive for a banned drug. Amit Dave/Reuters

The IOA's Medical and Anti-Doping Commission Chairman, Dr Manmohan Singh, confirmed that these players were booked for positive tests. “We had supervised the raids along with NADA and many athletes were found to be positive,” Dr Singh told The Tribune.

“Their final reports and B Sample tests are awaited. This takes a more serious turn if one considers that of the 13, a minimum of nine were gold medalists and we had decided to test all the winners,” Dr Singh added.

IOA sources said of the 13 athletes found guilty, two or three might escape punishment but the rest are in for a tough time as their B samples were also positive.

Nine athletes tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine, which is found in cooking oil. Prominent names include Core Group boxers Dilbag Singh and Praveen and prominent 400m hurdler Kuldev Singh, who had a career-best timing of 50.31 seconds in Ranchi.

Another name doing the rounds is of javelin thrower Vipin Kasana, allegedly found to be using Stanozolol, a banned steroid.

“We have sent these names to a committee that will hear the sportspersons individually and establish if the dope attempts were deliberate or not,” NADA Director-General Rahul Bhatnagar said. “If any of these players can prove that they consumed any medicine by mistake or were forcibly given the same, they may escape. Otherwise the panel will surely recommend the maximum penalty.”

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