New Delhi: India's National Anti Doping Agency said Monday it had raided one of the country's top sports centers for elite athletics in a search for banned drugs, following a string of doping cases earlier this month.
"The NADA decided to raid the Sports Authority of India center in Bangalore after the spate of doping cases," NADA director-general Rahul Bhatnagar told The Associated Press. "You could expect more such raids at different places in the coming days."
The agency also searched the National Institute of Sports in the northern city of Patiala over the weekend.
Eight Indian track and field athletes tested positive for banned anabolic steroids. Six of them, all 400 meter runners, had trained at Patiala.
Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose were all members of the women's 4x400 meter relay teams that won gold at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year. Akkunji also won the 400 hurdles at Guangzhou.
Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary and Priyanka Panwar were the other 400 runners to test positive.
The Athletics Federation of India said the B samples of all six runners have proved positive after the final two results, those of Ashwini Akkunji and Priyanka Panwar, came in on Monday.
"The date for a disciplinary panel hearing will be announced soon," AFI director Manohar Lal Dogra told The Associated Press on Monday.
The other two to test positive — men's long jumper Hari Krishnan and women's shot putter Sonia Kumari — have not yet asked for their B samples to be tested.
All eight, who have been provisionally banned, tested positive for drugs that help build muscle. Akkunji, Jose, Kumari, Panwar and Krishnan tested positive for methandienone, Murmu and Mary for epimethandiol, and Kaur for stanozolol.
India's 400 meters coach, Ukrainian Yuri Ogorodnik, was sacked immediately after the results emerged and has submitted a report on the matter.
NDTV adds: Judge Mukul Mudgal who has been appointed by the Sports Ministery to look into the doping issue told NDTV that he will meet the concerned athletes and take their statements on the matter. "I am concentrating on Patiala and Delhi now. I will be speaking to the concerned athletes and get their statement. Then I will speak to the officials at the NIS and only then will I prepare and submit my report in August," he said.