Indian athlete Rani Yadav has tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after October 9 women’s 20km road race at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Yadav came fifth in the race – India’s best finisher in the 20km walk.
The Commonwealth Games Federation confirmed in a statement that Yaday’s A sample contained the banned anabolic agent 19-Norandrosterone and she has been provisionally suspended from the Games awaiting a provisional hearing later today.
Yaday is the sixteenth Indian track and field athlete to test positive for a performance-enhancing drug this year, casting a shadow over India’s unprecedented haul of a dozen medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
On Monday, the host nation celebrated its first Commonwealth Games athletics gold in over half a century – and the first ever by a woman – when Krishna Poonia took the discus title.
India also took both the silver and bronze medals in the same event. The country’s women’s 400-metre relay team sprinted to an unlikely victory in yesterday’s relay.
Yadav is the third athlete to test positive for drugs at these Games.
Over the previous two days, two Nigerian runners tested positive for the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine. Female sprinter Osayomi Oludamola was later stripped of the gold medal that Sally Pearson would have won had she not been disqualified for a false start in the women’s 100m sprint.
Sprint hurdler Samuel Okon was also disqualified after testing positive for the drug.
Dr Lalit Bhanot, the secretary general of Delhi’s Commonwealth Games’ organising committee said the number of athletes who had failed drugs tests disappointed him.
He added: “Since we are the hosts, we took precautions but unfortunately this thing has happened.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation’s president, Michael Fennell, said the Delhi organisers had done a good job of limiting drug use.
He added: “Everyone would concede that three out of 1300 is not a bad record and of those two have been concluded successfully and they were considered by many not to be as serious as they were stimulants.
“It is better, of course, if there are no cases. All involved would prefer zero, but we have to live with reality.”
Words: Adam Edwards