S Dhanalakshmi, Aishwarya Babu fail dope test ahead of Commonwealth Games 2022
The Commonwealth Games 2022 is just over a week away. However, S Dhanalakshmi and Aishwarya Babu failed their dope test right ahead of the same.
A couple of 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG)-bound athletes in the form of sprinter S Dhanalakshmi and triple jumper Aishwarya Babu have tested positive for banned drugs. Yet another dope shame struck Indian athletics only a few days before the multi-sport event. As a result, both have been ruled out of their trip to Birmingham, which gets underway on July 28. Besides, they have also been handed a provisional suspension. 24-year-old Dhanalakshmi tested positive for a banned steroid, as a dope test was conducted abroad by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the World Athletics.
"Dhanalakshmi tested positive in a dope test conducted by AIU. She will not go for Birmingham CWG," a top source who has witnessed the development was quoted as saying to PTI. Dhanalakshmi was in the CWG team for the 100 metres and the 4x100 metres relay team, along with top stars, like Dutee Chand, Hima Das and Srabani Nanda.
Dhanalakshmi was also supposed to be a part of the Indian team during the ongoing World Championships in Eugene, USA. However, she could not make it to the showpiece due to visa issues. She recorded a personal best time of 22.89 seconds as she won the 200 metres gold during the 2022 Qosanov Memorial Athletics Meet on June 26, becoming only the third Indian woman to run sub-23s. Ahead of her are national record holder Saraswati Saha (22.82s) and Hima Das (22.88s).
As for the 24-year-old Aishwarya, her dope sample was taken by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials during the 2022 National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Chennai last month. She also returned with a positive result while she was supposed to be a part of the team for the triple jump and long jump events at the CWG.
"Triple jumper Aishwarya Babu's sample, taken during the National Inter-State Championships, has returned positive," the source added. Aishwarya had broken the triple jump national record when she pulled off a stunning effort of 14.14 metres during the 2022 National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships in Chennai as the undisputed star.
During the Chennai event, Aishwarya had constructed a 6.73 metres effort in the long jump qualifier round. It was the second longest personal best by any Indian woman long jumper, going past the feat of the legendary Anju Bobby George (6.83 metres).