In a major set back to India’s London Olympics campaign, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Friday banned six top women athletes for a year from all competitive events.
The chances of their participating in the London Olympics next year virtually ended with this ban.
All the six sprinters, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose, Mary Tiana Thomas, Priyanka Pawar, Jauna Murmu and Akkunji, were found guilty of intentionally taking banned substances.
Akkunji, who won gold in 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay in the Asian Games, will not be able to participate in the London Olympics as she will have to serve ban period upto July 3 2012 as she was handed provisional suspension on July 4 this year.
Mandeep, one of the members of the women\\\’s 4x400m relay quartet who gold in Asian Games, was provisionally suspended on June 23 along with Murmu.
Jose, also a member of the quartet, and Mary Tiana Thomas were suspended on June 30. Priyanka Pawar was suspended along with Akkunji on July 4.
The chances of their participation are very grim as Olympic qualification period ends on July 2 and the last qualifying event is scheduled for June 29 and 30, 2012.
They also will need a reinstatement test after their ban period.
But the banned athletes have a slim chance of making it to London if their replacements manage to qualify for the Games as the final say on who represents India in the event rests with the Athlete Federation of India.
However, all the six Indian quarter-milers, who flunked dope tests earlier this year, have been allowed to appeal against the ban.
The athletes can appeal against the bans to NADA appellate panel.