Akkunji faces doping ban; may miss Olympics

Published: Jul 12, 2011, 08:56 IST | AFP |

Indian 400m runner Ashwini Akkunji, a gold medallist at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, was facing a two-year ban for doping yesterday after her "B" sample tested positive for steroids

Indian 400m runner Ashwini Akkunji, a gold medallist at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, was facing a two-year ban for doping yesterday after her "B" sample tested positive for steroids.

Athletics Federation of India director Manohar Lal Dogra confirmed the positive results for Akkunji and fellow 400m runner Priyanka Panwar, adding that they would now appear before a National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) disciplinary panel.

The duo were among eight athletes who have failed drug tests in recent days.

The "B", or second, samples of Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas also tested positive last week.
The eight were provisionally suspended pending the testing of their second samples.

Akkunji was part of the women's 4x400m relay team that won the gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, last year along with Mandeep Kaur and Jose.

Akkunji also took the 400m hurdles Asiad title.

India has never won a track medal at the Olympics and the women's 4x400m relay team was seen as the country's biggest hope of a podium finish at next year's Games in London. The sports ministry appointed retired judge Mukul Mudgal to head an inquiry into the doping scandal. He is expected to report within six weeks.

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