A total of 12 athletes, who participated in the inaugural Khelo India School Games, have tested positive for banned substances at the Sports Ministry’s flagship event, according to a report in the Indian Express.
The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) served notices to the 12 athletes through the respective National Sports Federations (NSFs) about the alleged violations that were red-flagged at the event that took place from January 31 to February 8 in New Delhi.
The dozen athletes who were caught using banned substances belonged to six different sports – among them four wrestlers, three boxers, two from gymnastics and one each from volleyball, judo and athletics.
Among the 12 athletes, five had come first in their disciplines, winning gold medals, including three wrestlers, one gymnast and a volleyball player. The sports ministry is yet to respond on the matter so far, but notices were dispatched earlier this month.
A source close to the proceedings said, “Most of the athletes have tested positive for furosemide and terbutaline. Since these fall under the specified substances category of the World Anti Doping Agency code, they have not been suspended yet.”
Usage of terbutaline and furosemide does not invoke provisional suspension, since terbutaline, used for asthma treatment and furosemide, helpful in short-term weight shedding, may enter an athlete’s system unintentionally.
One of the boxers has been handed a provisional suspension, after found to have used stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. Doping in India at the junior levels is rampant and the country is ranked third in the world by the World Anti-Doping Agency for dope-related offences.