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Another blow as two CWG swimmers fail dope test

Just days after six wrestlers and two throwers tested positive for methylhexaneamine,three Indian swimmers,including two who were part of the national squad for next month’s Commonwealth Games,have failed the dope test.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 6, 2010 5:01:59 am

Just days after six wrestlers and two throwers tested positive for methylhexaneamine,three Indian swimmers,including two who were part of the national squad for next month’s Commonwealth Games,have failed the dope test.

On Sunday,the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) reported to Swimming Federation of India (SFI) that the urine samples of national record holder Richa Mishra and Jyotsana Pansare,both part of India’s 26-member aquatic squad for the CWG,had traces of methylhexaneamine,a stimulant banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Another swimmer,Amar Muralitharan,also tested positive for the same substance.

Speaking to The Indian Express,SFI secretary Virender Nanavati confirmed the development. “We have been informed by NADA about the three swimmers failing dope tests. The swimmers have informed us that they would like to go for the ‘B’ sample tests.”

With this,the number of CWG sportspersons awaiting ‘B’ sample testing is now nine.

Interestingly,the objectionable substance in all the samples happens to be methylhexaneamine,which is used as a nasal decongestant. Over the last few years,the substance has gained notoriety in the sporting world as it was found that athletes were using it as a stimulant and instant weight loss. Its consumption increases energy levels and metabolic rate.

The use of the drug was first reported last year when five Jamaican sprinters,including women’s Commonwealth Games 100 metre champion Sheri-Ann Brooks,tested positive for it.

What is puzzling NADA officials is the fact that though the sportspersons were not bunched at one place — they underwent training at Patiala,Sonepat,New Delhi,Pune and Bangalore — the banned substance detected in their samples is the same.

Director general of NADA Rahul Bhatnagar expressed surprised by the coincidence. “Yes,it surprises us all. But the authenticity of our testing methods cannot be questioned. We have a few more results to come in yet,” he said. It is learnt that Sports Ministry officials may order a probe into the matter.

Meanwhile,Richa,who was adjudged the best female swimmer during the recently-held National Aquatics Championships in Jaipur pleaded her innocence. “I have been tested several times before in my career of nearly 20 years and have always returned negative. In fact,my father is even willing to spend money to get the test done from a different laboratory abroad,” she said.

Richa won three individual gold medals with one meet record (200-m individual medley) during the nationals,while

Jyotsana clinched a gold in the 100-m backstroke event in Jaipur.

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