New Delhi: Doping menace continued unabated in Indian athletics with three more track and field competitors returning positive for steroids in the tests conducted during the National Open Championships held in Kolkata last month.
The National Anti-Doping Agency conducted tests on 93 urine samples during the September 10-13 Championships, out of which three returned positive for multiple substances, including banned steroids and stimulant methylhexaneamine.
"A total of 93 urine samples of athletes of track and field events were collected during 51st National Open Athletics Championships at Kolkata during September 10-13. Out of the reports of 91 samples received so far from National Dope Testing Laboratory, three samples were found positive and the first notices had been issued," NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said in a release.
"In each of the case, multiple substances were found and they include methandienone, stanozolol, methyltesterone, phentermine, methylhexaneamine," the release added.
Monday's dope flunk came three months after eight athletes, including double Asian Games gold-medallist Ashwini Akkunji, returned positive for banned steroids in one of the worst doping scandals to hit the country.
Akkunji's Asian Games 4X400m gold-winning relay teammates Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, three other top quartermilers Jauna Murmu, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas, shot putter Sonia and long jumper Hari Krishan Muralidharan also tested positive for banned steroids.
Sonia has been handed a two year ban by the NADA Disciplinary Panel, while the cases of the six quartermilers and Muralidharan are going on.
Interestingly, stimulant methylhexaneamine returned to haunt Indian sport after 13 sportspersons from various disciplines were caught using the substance just before last year's Commonwealth Games here.