Pune : The Indian athletics contingent was today hit by doping incident just a day before the start of the biennial Asian Championships with a woman shot-putter returning positive for a banned substance.

Sources in the Athletics Federation of India told PTI that the dope-flunked athlete is one of the three shot-putters representing the country in the showpiece continental event which begins at Shiv Chhatrapati stadium at Balewadi Sports Complex.

“She is one of the participants at the Asian Championships but I can’t reveal her identity,” an official said. Earlier in the day, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had revealed that a medal-winning woman shot-putter had flunked the dope test at last month’s 53rd National Interstate Senior Athletics Championship in Chennai. NADA did not name the athlete but said her blood samples contained banned substance Methylhexaneamine.

Udaya Laxmi, Neha Singh and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon had won the gold, silver and bronze medal respectively in the women’s shot-put event in the Inter-state meet early last month. The trio is part of the Indian athletics squad for the prestigious Asian meet.

“The medal winners in any national or international event will have to undergo mandatory dope test,” said the official. It has been learnt that the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is expected to pull out athletes from the Championships. India has the dubious distinction of the most number of athletes on the list of offenders who were caught for doping under International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules. In the IAAF list of dope offenders, a whopping 40 Indian athletes figured in the list out of 204 dope offenders all over the world.

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