Akkunji claims innocence; vows to prepare for Olympics

Published: Jul 08, 2011, 08:43 IST | IANS |

India's dope tainted quartermiler Ashwini Akkunji yesterday pleaded innocence and laid the blame squarely on the food supplements

India's dope tainted quartermiler Ashwini Akkunji, who won 4x400 metres relay gold in the Commonwealth and the Asian Games, yesterday pleaded innocence and laid the blame squarely on the food supplements, which she said were recommended by sacked Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogorodnik.

"I am innocent and have never failed a dope test before this. We only took the food supplements recommended by our coach and only after consuming the supplements, we have been tested positive," said Ashwini, who also won gold in the 400 metres hurdles at the Asian Games.

Ashwini yesterday appeared before the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) for her B sample test. She tested positive for banned anabolic steroid methandienone in tests conducted by the NADA during the Inter State Athletics Championships in Bangalore last month.

"It's sad since I made many sacrifices during my career. I have never taken steroids in my entire career. It's not the first time that I have given the dope test. Whenever NADA or WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) had called me, I have given the tests," she said.

"It's really sad that with the Olympic Games next year, this dope scandal has happened. But we will continue our preparation. We will continue with our practice," she added.

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