Dhanalakshmi, Aishwarya fail dope tests, to miss CWG

Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya, who were named in the initial 37-member India team for the July 28-August 8 Games, have been handed provisional suspensions.
S Dhanalakshmi
S Dhanalakshmi

NEW DELHI: Sprinter S Dhanalakshmi and triple jumper B Aishwarya were on Wednesday dropped from India’s Commonwealth Games team after returning two positive tests each for banned drugs as dope shame struck athletics just days ahead of the multi-sport event.

Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya, who were named in the initial 37-member India team for the July 28-August 8 Games, have been handed provisional suspensions. Dhanalakshmi failed two out-of-competition tests while Aishwarya returned positive in two in-competition tests.

Dhanalakshmi’s dope samples contained anabolic steroid while Aishwarya’s samples, which were taken during the National Inter-State Championships in Chennai last month, were found to have Ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).

Dhanalakshmi’s two out-of-competition tests were conducted in May and June – one by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the World Athletics and the other by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

The AIU took her first sample in Turkey, where she underwent a training stint as part of the India team in April-May. The second sample was taken on June 22 in Thiruvananthapuram, where she is based as a national camper.

Dhanalakshmi was named for the women’s 100m competition and in the 4x100m relay team along with Dutee Chand, Hima Das and Srabani Nanda for the CWG. Since Dhanalakshmi has been dropped, MV Jilna will be brought back to the women’s 4x100m relay team.

Dhanalakshmi was also named in the India team for the ongoing World Championships in Eugene, USA, but failed to make it to the showpiece, ostensibly due to visa problems. Meanwhile, Aishwarya’s two dope samples were taken by NADA officials on June 13 and 14 during the National Inter-State Championships.

She won the triple jump gold medal on June 13 with a national-record effort of 14.14m and clinched a long jump yellow metal the next day.

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