In the wake of eight athletes failing dope test, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Thursday suspended R.S.Sidhu and showcaused Ramesh Nagapuri, who were with the 400 metres athletics team at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala. The two were assistants to sacked Ukranian coach Yuri Ogrodnik.

SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma said the steps were taken on the basis of the report submitted by executive director P.S.Kahsyap.

“We have already sacked Yuri and a detailed inquiry is going on. We took the steps on the basis of report submitted by SAI executive director. We have suspended Sodhi and a showcause notice will be served to Ramesh, who is currently with the team in Japan for the Asian Athletics Championships,” said Verma.

Verma also said that Sunita Bedi, caretaker of the girls’ hostel, and Kalpana Debnath, warden of the Silver Jubilee Girls’ Hostel, have already been relieved of their jobs Wednesday. Resident doctor M. Bhattacharya has also been showcaused.

Weightlifting coach Naveen Kumar and gymnastics coach Praveen Kumar were also removed.

The SAI director general said that in future, steps will be taken against the entire team.

“We have decided that if the athlete is tested positive, then action will be taken against the entire team to stem the rot that has set in. Our employees will now be more pro—active to tackle this menace,” he said.

Verma also said that SAI has already prepared a detailed report on the doping scandal as ordered by Sports Minister Ajay Maken.

Meanwhile, the sports ministry has appointed Mukul Mudgal, retired chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, as a one—member committee to enquire into the doping scandal.

“The committee will determine the facts and circumstances leading to large—scale recent incidents of alleged doping in athletics. It will also examine reasons for such large—scale prevalence of doping and modus operandi involved, including availability of the prohibited substances in and around training camps,” a ministry statement said.

Mudgal would be assisted by V.Jayaramaan, senior project manager (NADA), and will submit his report within six weeks.

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