The doping saga took yet another twist as the sacked coach Yuri Ogrodnik and tainted athlete Ashwini Akkunji came out in their defense blaming supplement piracy for the revealed doping scandal.
"I'm innocent and have never failed a dope test before this", said Akkunji who was a member of the 4X400m team that won the Commonwealth and Asian Games' gold medals.
Akkunji, who was also awarded several cash rewards of a combined amount of Rs. 1 crore for her triumphs told NDTV that supplement contamination is the reason behind the dope shame, "Latest tests area result of contaminated supplements. It's sad since I made many sacrifices during my career".
Ashwini however also stated that there was an instance where they had to buy the supplement from outside the premises of the National Institute of Sports, "The food supplement stock at NIS, Patiala, where they were training, was over so we bought them off the shelf, this is the 1st time we were buying supplements off the shelf"
The sacked Ukranian coach, who was sacked on Tuesday by the Sports Minister Ajay Maken, also claimed innocence, "This is a big mistake and I am not responsible for it".
He also denied the role of the athletes in the whole issue; "The athletes are innocent, it is correct that I recommended them the food supplements but there might be some piracy in the products".
The doping scandal which has encircled 8 athletes including Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medalists has caused major harm to India's medal hopes in athletics at the 2012 olympics.