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Nirmala Sheroran and four others caught in dope shame, test positive for banned substances

Nirmala Sheroran and four others caught in dope shame, test positive for banned substances

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Published: 27 Nov 2018 3:35 AM GMT
Enthusiasts of Indian sport woke up to a rude shock early this morning as the massive news of five top athletes failing dope tests as doping horrors continue to bring national shame for India on the sporting front. Three out of those five athletes had represented India in the Jakarta Asian Games which ended with India winning 69 medals in what was the country's best ever showing. Runner Nirmala Sheoran, unsurprisingly is on that list. The Quartermiler and former Asian Champion in the discipline had grabbed headlines as she remained mysteriously absent and seemingly under the radar to such an extent that neither the country's central Athletics Federation (AFI) nor her state's sports association (Haryana) knew where she was. Finally, her name appeared in the list of participating athletes at the National Inter State Athletics C'ships in Guwahati ahead of the Asian Games earlier this year when she finally returned to the track. It transpired that she had been training all this while at a "secret" location in Rajasthan. The other four athletes to figure in the list of results in the test conducted by the global athletics body's (IAAF) Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) are Sanjivini Jadhav (5000m and 10,000m runner, 2017 Asian Athletics Bronze medalist), Sandeep Kumari (discus throw), Jhuma Khatun (1500m) and Naveen Chikara (Shotput). In addition to Nirmala, Sanjivini and Sandeep were a part of India's contingent at the Asian Games this year. While two out of these five athletes were reportedly caught at the Sports Authority of India campus in Bengaluru, the others were reportedly set to begin training at NIS Patiala. The period after the Asian Games had seen Nirmala Sheoran once again disappear for long periods of time but the media confirmed with the Federation that she has been traced. "There are reports that these samples were collected during the Inter-State meet-billed as Asian Games trials. The results have arrived only now and that is why some of these athletes were able to compete at the Asian Games," TOI was reported as quoting their sources within the Federation. Nirmala's name will certainly be a source of massive embarassment for both the AFI and the National Anti Doping Agency because this is not the first time that such a disappearing act. Ahead of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and the World Championships in 2017, she was reported to have been missing from the radar for long periods of time and had attained standards for both these events. Despite her name appearing in the National Anti Doping Agency's (NADA) Registered Testing Pool, there had been gaping questions as to whether Sheoran was tested during all her periods of absences. It might be further notes that her disappearing act after the Jakarta Asian Games despite the AFI issued mandate that all athletes must attend national camps in order to be considered for selection in major tournaments.
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