Indian shot-putter tests positive

On the eve of the 20th Asian Athletics Championships, the Indian camp was hit by the news that a woman shot-putter who is part of the team had failed a dope test.

The shotputter’s ‘A’ sample, taken at the Chennai Inter-State Athletics Championships in early June, tested positive for Methylhexaneamine (MHA), according to sources.

P Udaya Laxmi of Andhra Padesh, Neha Singh of Madhya Pradesh and Navjit Kaur of Punjab had taken the top three places in Chennai and all three are part of the Indian team here.

A top Athletics Federation of India official refused to confirm knowledge of a positive test but it is learnt that the issue has put AFI in a quandary. MHA comes under the list of specified substances in the World Anti-Doping Agency list and athletes failing tests for specified substances are not provisionally suspended, unlike positive tests for steroids.

That means an athlete can continue competing till the hearing process is completed on the case.  India, thus face the prospect of going into the meet with a tainted athlete in the team, unless she is dropped by AFI or voluntarily withdraws herself.

Udaya Laxmi, who was a hurdler before turning to shot put, had previously tested positive during the National Games in Hyderabad ten years ago.

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