Six Indian female runners will serve two-year bans after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an appeal by the International Association of Athletics Federations against lighter sentences, according to the athletes’ counsel.

“All six athletes have been banned for two years each starting from the dates of their provisional suspension in June-July last year,” attorney R.K. Anand told AP on the phone from Switzerland on Wednesday. “The decision has been intimated to us and we are contemplating our further course of action.”

The athletes had been handed lighter one-year bans by National Anti-Doping Agency, which felt the athletes had taken performance-enhancing drugs unknowingly, prompting the IAAF appeal.

The athletes include three members of the 4x400 relay team that won the gold medal in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 - Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose. The other three runners were Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary and Priyanka Panwar.

Akkunji, Jose and Panwar tested positive for methandienone, Murmu and Mary for epimethandiol, and Kaur for the more common stanozolol.

Their coach, Yuri Ogorodnik of Ukraine, was fired in July last year after being accused of providing the athletes with food supplements not sanctioned by the Sports Authority of India.

Keywords: CASIAAFdopingNADA

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