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More than 20 athletes from various sports have returned positive for banned drugs in tests conducted during the National Games in Goa in October-November in one of the biggest heaps of doping cases in the country. Most of the 20-odd dope offenders have been handed provisional suspension by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), which had collected dope samples from the participants in the October 25 to November 9 multi-sport event. Many have won medals in the Games while there were a few international players. There were nine track and field athletes and seven weightlifters among the dope offenders, according to sources.
The most prominent of the seven weightlifters who failed dope tests was Vandana Gupta, a double bronze-medal winner in the Commonwealth Championships.
“Yes, seven weightlifters have failed dope tests during the Goa National Games and there could be more in the coming days,” a source from the Indian Weightlifting Federation told PTI.
The 29-year-old Vandana, from Uttar Pradesh, had won gold in the women’s 76kg category in Goa with a total lift of 207kg.
She is a bronze-medal winner in 63kg category in both the 2013 and 2017 Commonwealth Championships, besides finishing fourth in 63kg class in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Cyclist Anita Devi was handed provisional suspension by the NADA on December 6 after her urine sample collected on November 3 was found to contain banned drug 19-Norandrosterone, an anabolic androgenic steroid.
Devi was a member of the women’s 4km pursuit team from Manipur that won the gold medal.
The Goa National Games were held after a seven-year delay due to issues related to building of infrastructure and a huge number of dope offenders has now come out from the multi-sport event.
The 2015 National Games in Kerala had seen 16 dope positive cases while the count in the 2022 edition in Gujarat was 10.
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