NEW DELHI – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has increased a dope-related ban on six Indian women athletes from one year to two years, the Swiss-based body said on Thursday.CAS posted on its website that it had upheld an appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for stricter punishment after Indian authorities handed a year-long ban to the athletes.
The six athletes include Ashwini Akkunji, who won gold medals in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay at the Asian Games in the Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2010.
Akkunji, along with team-mates Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose, Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary and Priyanka Panwar, tested positive for banned steroids like stanazolol and methandienone in June last year.
India’s National Anti-Doping Agency had suspended the athletes for a year after the girls blamed contaminated food supplements supplied by their former Ukrainian coach Yuri Ogorodnik for the positive results.
Ogorodnik was sacked from his post last July following the dope scandal.
The CAS statement said the cases were referred to a sole arbitrator, Mark Hovell of Britain, who upheld the appeal by the IAAF for two-year bans.
“Mandeep Kaur, Jauna Murmu, Ashwini, Panwar, Mary Thomas and Jose are all declared ineligible for a period of two years starting from the date of the award (17 July 2012),” the statement said.
But the ruling came with a provision to reduce the period of suspension already served, meaning the athletes will be eligible for competition from June next year.