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National Games

More than 20 athletes including medalists of National Games caught doping

Among the offenders, athletics had nine while weightlifting had seven, with other sports having one athlete each caught in doping.

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Detection of doping cases is becoming harder day by day (File Photo)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 30 Dec 2023 11:15 AM GMT

More than 20 athletes, including medallists, at the 37th National Games have been caught in doping and have returned positive for banned drugs for samples taken in October-November.

This is one of the biggest heaps of doping cases in the country in recent history.

Most of the 20-odd dope offenders have been handed provisional suspension by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), which had collected the samples between October 25 to November 9 at the National Games.

A lot of the doping violators are international athletes and medallists at the National Games. As always, athletes and weightlifters led the list of offenders.

There were nine track and field athletes and seven weightlifters among the dope offenders, according to sources.

This is the first time that a billiards player has also been caught doping. Apart from athletics and weightlifting, two players from boxing, one each from cycling, wrestling, triathlon, netball, kabaddi and swimming were caught.

The most prominent of the seven weightlifters who failed dope tests was Vandana Gupta, a double bronze medal winner in the Commonwealth Championships.

"Yes, seven weightlifters have failed dope tests during the Goa National Games and there could be more in the coming days," a source from the Indian Weightlifting Federation told PTI.

The 29-year-old Vandana, from Uttar Pradesh, had won gold in the women's 76kg category in Goa with a total lift of 207kg.

She is a bronze-medal winner in the 63kg category in both the 2013 and 2017 Commonwealth Championships, besides finishing fourth in the 63kg class in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Cyclist Anita Devi was handed provisional suspension by the NADA on December 6 after her urine sample collected on November 3 was found to contain the banned drug 19-Norandrosterone, an anabolic androgenic steroid.

Devi was a member of the women's 4km pursuit team from Manipur that won the gold medal.

The Goa National Games were held after a seven-year delay due to issues related to the building of infrastructure and a huge number of dope offenders have now come out from the multi-sport event.

The 2015 National Games in Kerala had seen 16 positive dope cases while the count in the 2022 edition in Gujarat was 10.

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