An embarrassed Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Wednesday pulled out shot putter P. Udayalaxmi, who was tested positive for a banned stimulant, from the home squad for the ongoing Asian Championships here.

Udayalaxmi returned positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine in a test conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on her ‘A’ sample taken during early last month’s National Inter-State Championships in Chennai.

AFI Secretary C.K. Valson told PTI that the 39-year-old athlete has been ruled out of the Championships and sent back to her home in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have got the intimation from the NADA about the adverse analytical finding and we have pulled her out from the Championships,” Mr. Valson said.

Indian team manager Lata Devi said that Udayalaxmi, who had won gold in shot put in the National Inter-State Championships, has been sent home early Wednesday.

Udayalaxmi, who will now be put under suspension, faces the prospect of being banned for life as this has been her second dope offence.

She was a 400 meter hurdler before turning a shot putter after she failed a dope test during the 2002 Hyderabad National Games. Mr. Valson said there would be no replacement for Udayalaxmi.

“The entries have been freezed now and we cannot make any replacement (for her).”

Mr. Valson also said that elaborate dope-testing arrangements have been made with the NADA assisting the AFI and Asian Athletics Federation.

“We have made arrangement for dope testing and we have got 40 sample kits for testing of athletes,” he said.

He said it was not mandatory for the medical team, which is headed by AFI’s Arun Mendiratta, to take samples of all the medal winners. “It will be more of random testing,” he said.

One NADA team member who has come over here said that the AAA or the IAAF will take the final decision whom to take the samples from.

“We are just helping out and giving logistic support to the medical team. It will be for the AAA or IAAF people who would be taking the samples. They will take the decision about who would be tested,” the NADA team member said.

The samples will be sent to WADA accredited laboratories and a sample will have to be kept for at least eight years under the new rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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