So far, five sportsperson have tested positive for banned substances from the Indian camp for the quadrennial event.
Just three days before the much-awaited Commonwealth Games, another Indian tested positive for banned substances in tests conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). She is a member of India’s 4x100m relay squad. A little less than a week ago, sprinter Dhanalakshmi, who is also a part of the 4x100m relay, failed her drug test. Alongside her, Triple Jump national record holder, Aishwarya Babu, made it to this list, too.
One of the top officials of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) confirmed this news. He said, “Yes, the athlete has tested positive, and we will follow the procedure.”
With this big news, the Indian women’s 4x100m relay squad looks deserted just a few days ahead of the competition. Since two out of six have failed the tests, the Indian team will have no injury cover. There is a high possibility that Jyothi Yarraji, who is a 100m hurdler and long jumper, and Ancy Sojan, will be roped in as backup runners. Though both are a part of the CWG squad, the pressure of another event added to their bucket can affect their performance.
That’s not all, as two para-athletes have also failed dope tests conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency in Pune and Delhi, respectively. Armyman Aneesh Kumar Surendran Pillai, who is a shot-putter, and women’s para powerlifter Geeta have been suspended and have been dropped from the 30-member para squad for the upcoming Games.
At least nine athletes have tested positive for banned substances since the Tokyo Olympics last year. Two of them represented India in Japan. The list, apart from this week’s offenders, includes discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, Shivpal Singh, MR Poovamma, Rajender Singh, and Taranjeet Kaur, to name a few.
India’s reputation is not good when it comes to doping cases as it stands in the third position according to the latest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after Russia and Italy.
Commonwealth Games 2022 are just around the corner, and news like this affects the entire squad’s momentum. On the other hand, it is also the right of the agency to help organise the event in a fair manner.