AN INDIAN anti-doping board has distorted the start dates of one-year bans on four women 400 meter runners, making them eligible for the London Olympics. Ashwini Akkunji and Sini Jose, members of relay quartets that won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, were among six athletes banned from the time of their temporary suspensions last July.
However, the board ruled that four of them – Akkunji, Jose, Priyanka Panwar and Tiana Mary Thomas deserved clemency as they did not take banned steroids deliberately. Since the bans have to be for at least one year owing to World Anti-Doping Agency rules, the start date was distorted to when the urine samples were collected last June. The deadline for sending Olympic entries is 3 July.
The four athletes have appealed against the bans to the Indian anti-doping agency, blaming a coach who allegedly gave them food complements but WADA has demanded that their bans be increased to two years as it feels the athletes themselves should be held responsible for the occurrence of banned substances in their bodies.
The other two 400-metre runners who were also banned were Mandeep Kaur and Jauna Murmu. They all tested positive for one or more of three banned steroids, Methandienone, epimethandiol and stanozolol. Meanwhile, Spanish police have held ten people supposed to be part of a worldwide doping network involving professional cycling and athletics.
A criminal network that provided performance-enhancing drugs to Athletic Events who tested positive at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Spanish Vuelta, among other competitions, was dismantled according to a declaration by Catalan regional police Mossos d’Esquadra, who were working alongside the national force.
Beltran, who lives in Bahrain, also beforehand worked cycling team Xacobeo-Galicia and has been in jail since trying to board a flight from Madrid to Colombia on March 5. Cesar Perez, the former trainer of world steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez, who was detained in December 2010′s Operation Galgo, was also reported to have been detained.