India’s mixed relay team, that had won the silver medal in the 2018 Asian Games, are set to have their metals updated to gold. The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees doping cases in track and field, has imposed a four-year ban on Bahraini sprinter Kemi Adekoya which will see the Indian quartet of Mohammad Anas, Hima Das, Arokia Rajiv and MR Poovamma getting their hands on an Asian Games gold after a year of their race.
The AIU said on Friday that Adekoya will also be losing her 400m hurdles gold which will be passed to Vietnam’s Vietnam’s Quach Thi Lan. India’s Anu Raghvan who had finished fourth in the same event will now be moving up in the line for a bronze medal. On August 28, 2018, The Indian mixed relay team, clocking 3 minute and 15.71 seconds, fell behind Bahrain (3:11:89), which was making its debut at the Asian Games.
Alleging that a Bahraini sprinter had hindered in Hima Das’ way during the race, India had issued a complaint against Bahrain for ‘obstruction’. However, the appeal was turned over and India had to satisfy with silver. But with Friday’s announcement, the Indian sprinters should feel proud of their conduct in the track that day.
Adekoya, who has won four gold medals at the Asian Games, had earlier competed for Nigeria before switching her allegiance to Bahrain. Last month another Bahraini athlete was banned after found guilty of doping and with the latest announcement, the issue of athletes using illegal drugs in the country has come to the forefront again.
With Bahrain’s longstanding policy of fielding African-born athletes, the IAAF was forced to tighten the rules for change in allegiance, from one country to another, in track and field in 2018. But, that seems to have done little as the countries continue with their actions.
The AIU also suspended Indian distance runner Sanjivani Yadhav after she was tested positive for probenecid, which is generally used to mask the presence of other banned drugs. She will be losing her 10,000m bronze medal of Asian Championship this year.