National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has provisionally suspended a top Indian athlete after testing positive for banned performance-enhancing substance meldonium. NADA Director General Naveen Agarwal, while talking to a news channel, revealed that the athlete was handed suspension on Monday. However, he chose not to reveal the identity of the athlete, reports IANS.
According to a report, over 20 syringes of the banned drug, meldonium, were found in the athlete’s hostel room at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala. The athlete is believed to be have represented India at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.
NADA has directed Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to ask the athlete to leave the national camp currently underway at NIS, Patiala until he can prove his innocence. The raid at the NIS hostel was conducted last month after NADA received information that some of the athletes at the ongoing national camp were using the banned drugs. Also Read- South Asian Basketball Championship: India trump Nepal 90-44
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had announced in September 2015 that meldonium would be a banned substance from January 1, 2016.
Russian star Maria Sharapova, former World No.1 in the women’s tennis circuit, had also tested positive for the same substance at the Australian Open on January 26 last year. She was originally suspended for two years on June 8, 2016. But the ban was later reduced to 15 months following a WADA hearing on October 4 last year. (Inputs IANS).