New Delhi: The positive dope tests of eight top athletes in the last few days on Monday prompted calls for the immediate suspension of the Athletics Federation of India.
There is a growing clamour for action within the Indian Olympic Association with many senior members wanting prompt action to be taken against the AFI which they said has brought shame to the country.
A top IOA office bearer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, cited the case of Indian Weightlifting Federation whose executive body members were forced to resign en masse after doping scandal broke out in 2009 and said that the same can be done in case of AFI.
"The IWF officials were forced to resign en masse after a doping scandal broke out. The hockey federation was dissolved following the autocratic way of functioning of K P S Gill. Why can't action be taken against the AFI?" the official asked.
The official said since the AFI is considered as the turf of Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot, there is a tendency to take a soft stand against it.
Meanwhile, the IOA officials are said to be concerned by the doping scandal and are likely to call a meeting soon to take stock of the situation.
Acting IOA President Vijay Kumar Malhotra had already called for a judicial inquiry into the doping scandal while former athletes, including P T Usha, Milkha Singh and Ashwini Nachappa, have also demanded a thorough probe to get to the bottom of the menace.
Malhotra had said that a retired judge should be appointed to hold the inquiry and look into the role of all concerned -- athletes, coaches, doctors and staff at different Sports Authority of India centres.
Usha had demanded a thorough inquiry into the dope scandal that rocked the country, saying that it has brought shame to the nation.
Another legend Milkha Singh slammed the coaches and the federation for the doping mess and said the tainted athletes should be stripped off the medals they had won.
Two more athletes -- the country's new golden girl Ashwini Akkunji and another quartermiler Priyanka Panwar - on Monday tested positive for anabolic steroids, taking the tally of dope offenders in the last few days to eight.
Akkunji and Priyanka returned positive for anabolic steroid methandienone in the dope tests conducted on June 27 by NADA at NIS Patiala, hours before their departure for Japan for the July 7-10 Asian Championships.
The country could have faced embarrassment and shame had these two athletes been caught at the Asian Championships. Both have been immediately suspended by the AFI and withdrawn from the Japan-bound team.
Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, Akkunji's team-mates in the 4x400 relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year, had also tested positive for the same methandienone as well another qaurtermiler Jauna Murmu.
Another qaurtermiler Tiana Mary Thomas had tested positive for anabolic steroid epimethandiol.
Long Jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan and shot putter Sonia were the other athletes who have tested positive in the last few days.