Six quarter-milers handed one-year ban, olympics doubtful (Lead)December 23rd, 2011 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) India’s leading six women quarter-milers, including Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, were banned for one year by the national anti-doping disciplinary panel here Friday and their hopes of running in the 2012 London Olympics were hanging by a thin thread.
Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose, Juana Murmu, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas were the other athletes banned by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). Ashwini, Mandeep, Sini, Priyanka and Tiana had tested positive for stanozolol and epimethandiol while Murmu’s test showed traces of epimethandiol. They were all tested in May-June and provisionally suspended.
All six are first time offenders but instead of a two-year ban they were given a one-year sentence since the three-member anti-doping disciplinary panel was of the view that the athletes didn’t take the banned substances intentionally. The panel came down hard on their Ukrainian coach Yuri Orgodonik, who was sacked after the scandal came to light.
Chairman of the panel Justice (retd) Dinesh Dayal, reading out the judgment here at the NADA headquarters, said the six athletes have been suspended for a year. Hockey Olympian Ashok Kumar and Dr. N.K. Khadiya were the other members of the panel.
“The six athletes have been suspended for a year under clause 2.1 of Anti-doping Rule. The period of suspension is effective from today. But the term of provisional suspension will also be taken into consideration,” said Dayal.
“We did not find any significant fault on the part of these athletes on how the banned substance entered their bodies and they will get reduced penalty under clause 10.5.2 NADA rule. Two athletes - Mary Tiana Thomas and Jauna Murmu - were tested twice in May and June and they cannot be held guilty on two counts,” he added.
The panel in its 46-page order blamed Ogorodnik for the doping scandal.
“In fact the defence taken by the athletes is an admission of the facts that their coach had given them the nutritional supplement and that there were Prohibited Substances in the nutritional supplement, Ginseng Kinapi Pil being administered by the coach,” the NADA order read.
“It is the case of NADA that the admission of the athlete that they had taken supplement under the instructions of the coach does not absolve them of the legal obligations as enumerated in Article 2.1 and 2.1.1 & 2.1.2 of the Rules,” the order further stated.
Mandeep and Murmu were tested in the last week of May while the others were tested during the second fortnight of June. The ban will come into effect from the date of their suspension, that is from the last week of June for most of them. The athletes can still hope to compete in the July 27-Aug 12 London Olympics.
The cut-off date for Olympic qualification for athletes is July 8 and the relay teams July 2. The last qualification even will be held in the last week of June. To qualify for the Games, the relay teams should have run enough international races and the average of two best timings should make them come within the top 16 teams in the world.
Ashwini, Mandeep and Sini were part of the famed women’s 4×400m relay team that won the gold medal in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Guangzhou Asian Games, both in 2010. Ashwini also won the gold in the 400 metres hurdles at the Asian Games.
The government was trying to get a lighter sentence to the athletes keeping the London Olympics in view and the executive committee of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had got a hint of the government’s intentions.
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- Three athletes fail dope test - Oct 11, 2011
- Anti-doping agency collects 91 samples at Bangalore camp - Jul 12, 2011
- Mandeep blames federation for not providing team doctor - Jul 01, 2011
- Five athletes flunk dope tests - Jun 30, 2011
- Asiad, CWG gold winner Ashwini joins dope-tainted stars (Roundup) - Jul 04, 2011
- Asiad, CWG gold winner Ashwini, Priyanka also fail dope test (Lead) - Jul 04, 2011
- Mandeep, Juana ask for food supplements to be examined (Lead) - Jul 01, 2011
- IOA demands judicial inquiry in doping scandal - Jul 01, 2011
- NADA asks dope tainted athletes to submit food supplements - Jul 06, 2011
- Four NIS officials removed, NADA to test food supplements (Lead) - Jul 06, 2011
- Doping scandal: Ukrainian coach sacked, minister orders probe (Lead) - Jul 05, 2011
- Foreign athletics coach sacked, doping scandal to be probed - Jul 05, 2011
Tags: 2012 london olympics, ashok kumar, asian games, disciplinary panel, doping scandal, double gold, first time offenders, gold medallist, jauna, jose juana, kaur, mary thomas, New Delhi, priyanka, quarter milers, sini, stanozolol, thin thread, tiana, yuri