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Nine National Games athletes fail dope test

In what comes as a major blow for Indian sports, nine athletes including a Commonwealth Games gold medallist tested positive at the recently held National Games in Kerala.

Geeta Rani at the Commonwealth Games

In what comes as a major blow for Indian sports, nine athletes including a Commonwealth Games gold medallist tested positive at the recently held National Games in Kerala.

Geeta Rani (Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2006), Harjeet Kaur, Komal Wakale, Mangte P Kom were the weightlifters who failed dope tests. Hammer thrower K.M Rachna also tested positive during the event. 

Geeta had clinched gold in the +75 kg category at the National Games. Harjeet (Women’s 58 kg), Mangte (Women’s 75 kg) and Komal Wakale (Women’s +75 kg) won a silver medal each, while Rachna had bagged a silver in the women’s hammer throw event.

All of them have been handed provisional suspensions until their confirmatory ‘B’ sample tests are out. If found guilty, they could face a ban of upto four years as first time offenders. 

Indian Weightlifting Federation Vice-President Sahdev Yadav confirmed the news. "Geeta Rani, Harjeet and Komal tested positive for banned stimulants while Mangte P Kom returned positive for a steroid," Yadav said. According to reports, the Athletics Federation of India has provisionally suspended Rachna.

Kerala National Games CEO Jacob Punnoose told PTI that 9 to 10 athletes failed dope tests of ‘A’ samples of their urine taken during the National Games. "Nine or 10 athletes failed dope tests at the National Games," Punnoose said.

Yadav promised severe action against the four weightlifters if their ‘B’ sample also tested positive.  "We have zero tolerance policy on dope offenders. We will take stern action against these weightlifters if their 'B' samples also confirm the 'A' sample results," he said.

"We will also not spare their coaches and will also take action against the state units," he added.

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