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Around 1,000 participants in West Bengal Athletic Championship

Kolkata: Around 1,000 athletes including the controversial Pinki Pramanik will compete in the 66th West Bengal State Athletic Championship which will be held from June 9 to 12, West Bengal Athletic Association secretary Kamal Kumar Maitra said on Monday.

"We are expecting around 1,000 athletes from the 39 affiliated units we have," Maitra told reporters here.

"There will be dope tests done this time around. We will have NADA officials from New Delhi. Also Pinki Pramanik will be participating for Eastern Railway after a long gap," he added.

Asian Games gold medallist runner Pramanik had been accused of rape in 2012 and spent days in jail.

Reputed clubs such as East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Aryans, Eastern Railway, Kolkata police Sports Club are going to participate in the competition which will be staged at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Sports Complex.

Former India captain and present Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly will inaugurate the tourney on Thursday. Also present at the inauguration ceremony will be West Bengal Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Aroop Biswas and his junior minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla.

Top state athletes including the likes of runner Lili Das, Pinki Pramanik and Chandan Bauri will be competing at the four-day event.

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