Doping scandal: athletics coach may be sacked
As many as eight Indian athletes have tested positive for using banned substances in the last one week.
New Delhi: As the doping scandal in Indian athletics gets murkier by the day and more athletes test positive for using banned substances, the Sports Ministry is expected to sack athletics coach Yuri Ogrodnik of Ukraine, sources have told CNN-IBN.
The Director General of the Sports Authority of India will now look into the lapses at the National Institute of Sports and submit a report in three days. The Ministry is also seeking a report from the Athletics Federation of India, the sources added.
In a move to strengthen testing at the NIS, sources said the number of doctors will be increased at the premier sports training facility located in Patiala.
Ministry officials added that they were not being harsh on the athletes as they were already paying the price, and it was time now to focus on the role of the officials and the coaches and that they will not be spared.
Earlier on Monday, a second doping scandal involving Indian athletes surfaced within a week. Ashwini Akkunji, winner of the 400 metres hurdles at the 2010 Asiad Games and Priyanka Pawar failed their respective dope tests on Monday.
Akkunji was also a part of the 4x400 metres relay team which won the gold medal in last year's Commonwealth Games.
'A' samples of both Pawar and Akkunji have tested positive for a banned steroid. In all a total of eight athletes have now failed the dope test.
"We are sorry to announce that two more athletes have been tested positive in the same salt as the other six athletes. We have received the communication from NADA," said Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president M L Dogra.
"They (Ashwini and Priyanka) were part of the team for the Asian Championships in Kobe but after their failed dope tests, they have been provisionally suspended."
Earlier, on Thursday doping in athletics had taken scandalous proportions with five Indian athletes, including Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist Sini Jose, flunked the tests conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency.
Jose, along with another 400m runner Tiana Mary Thomas, long jumper Hari Krishnan, and shot putter Sonia returned positive for anabolic steroids in their 'A' samples.
The samples were taken by NADA during the June 11-14 National Inter-State Athletics Meet in Bangalore.
Two more Indian athletes - Mandeep Kaur and Juana Murmu - were on Wednesday suspended and faced the prospect of a two-year ban after failing an out-of-competition dope test.
The 'B' samples of both the athletes returned positive for anabolic steroids in the tests conducted by International Association of Athletics Federations.
(With inputs from CNN-IBN and agencies)