As part of the strategy to nail dope cheats, National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials came unannounced at the Bangalore centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday and raided the rooms of athletes and coaches. The NADA team, headed by project officer V Jayaraman, found four supplements that were not supplied by the SAI.”The NADA team also collected samples of four supplements from the hostel rooms that were not supplied by the SAI. The samples have been seized and will be brought back to Delhi for testing at the National Dope-Testing Laboratory,” a source told MAIL TODAY on Monday.The NADA officials, including a lady doctor, took the athletes at the Bangalore centre by surprise when they began searching the hostel rooms and collected urine samples of 20 swimmers and weightlifters. A four-member NADA team had earlier made a surprise visit to the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala, on Saturday and returned with 22 samples.The raids come in the backdrop of eight positive dope cases among Indian athletes, including Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose who won gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth and Asian Games last year. “The NADA team reached the SAI centre at 8:00am and checked rooms of athletes and coaches for banned substances and also took urine samples on a random basis,” read a statement from NADA director general Rahul Bhatnagar.”The team checked 51 rooms in the hostels, belonging to 30 women and 21 men. Samples of food supplements and other medicines found in four rooms were sealed and will be brought for testing. Twenty urine samples of weightlifters and swimmers were also taken on a random basis and will be sent to NDTL for testing,” Bhatnagar added.advertisementIt is alleged that coaches and support staff have a role in facilitating doping among athletes, and this was the reason that the rooms of coaches were also searched by the NADA team.’B’ samples return positiveAsian Games double gold medallist Ashwini Akkunji faces a two-year ban after her ‘B’ sample test returned positive for anabolic steroid methandienone on Monday. Another quarter-miler Priyanka Panwar, who, along with Ashwini, was pulled out of India’s squad for the Asian Athletics Championships in Kobe at the eleventh hour after failing a dope test, also had her ‘B’ sample returning positive.The NADA has notified the athletics federation and asked the chairman of the national anti-doping disciplinary panel to fix a date for the hearing of the two athletes.
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