Ashwini, team-mates get two-year suspension
CAS upholds IAAF appeal against one-year ban
The six Indian women athletes, who were caught for doping last year, lost their case in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland, as it upheld the International Association of Athletics Federation's appeal to impose a two-year ban on them.
A National Anti-Doping Agency panel had handed a lenient one-year ban on the six quartermilers, including Asian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji, on the ground that they did not know the food supplement they had been provided by their coach contained prohibited substance. But the IAAF filed an appeal to the CAS against the NADA panel decision, stating that the athletes should not be given any lenient treatment and they should be banned for two years provided under the rules.
The CAS on Tuesday decided the case in favour of the IAAF and the athletes will serve a two year ban. “The IAAF’s appeal has been upheld by CAS and the six Indian athletes have lost their case. The operative part is not known and it will come later,” an Athletics Federation of India source told PTI.
Besides Ashwini, the other five are 4x400M relay quartet members Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur and three other quartermilers Priyanka Panwar, Jauna Murmu and Tiana Mary Thomas. The period of their one-year ban by the NADA panel ended last month.
The relay quartet of Akkunji, Mandeep, Sini and Manjeet Kaur had won the gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the Asian Games in China a month later.
Ashwini became the toast of the country after she also won the 400M hurdles in the Asian Games also. Experts had raised doubts over her incredible performances but the athlete always denied taking banned substances knowingly.
Manjeet, the only one among the famed quartet not to fail a dope test, ended her career after she allegedly refused to give samples to NADA officials in Patiala. Manjeet was charged with doping violation by NADA but she successfully argued that she had retired from the sport. As such, she was let off by the NADA panel.
Ashwini and her team-mates had continued to train in the hope that they would be cleared in time for them to make an attempt at Olympic qualification in the 4x400M relay. In their absence, the Indians failed to clock a good enough time to get into the top-16 teams in the world who are eligible to take part in the Olympics.