“I have done nothing wrong” was the message ace athlete A.C. Ashwini has left for her parents after she was told of being dropped from the squad heading to participate in the 19th Asian Athletics Championships to be held in Kobe, Japan, from July 7 to 10. She reportedly failed a dope test.
“I do not know how it happened. But I have done nothing wrong,” she told her farmer father Chidananda Shetty Akkunji who resides in a hamlet called Jansale near Siddapur, about 30 km from the coastal town of Kundapur in Udupi district.
She told her mother Yashodha not to watch TV and spoil her mood, Mr. Shetty told The Hindu from his home over phone. He said relatives and friends had been calling and expressing shock about the news. She was ready with her baggage to leave for Japan, Mr. Shetty said. “We are very upset,” he said and added that this would affect her career to some extent.
Ashwini, who had bagged two gold medals in the Guangzhou Asian Games, was among the 16-member woman squad and was to participate in 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m races in Japan.
Mr. Shetty said his daughter was extra-cautious about the drugs she consumed. “She would not take a tablet for fever fearing dope test failure,” Mr. Shetty said. He said Ashwini had the dream of participating in Olympics. She had told the family that she would not come back home until her dream was fulfilled. Mr. Shetty said Ashwini was mature enough to handle the situation and hoped that the Athletics Federation of India would help her.