Jagtar Singh dropped for testing positive


Jagtar’s sample, taken at the Federation Cup in Patiala last month, tested positive for meldonium and he has been suspended pending a hearing, according to the National Anti-Doping Agency. The 24-year-old had won the gold then with a personal best tally of 6888 points.

Jagtar’s name was missing from the start lists as the decathlon competition began on the first day of the Asian Championships. Indian team officials said he had arrived here and left on the same day and as such, his name was removed from the entries. However, NADA sources said the Athletics Federation of India had been informed of the positive test on June 28, the day the team for the Asian meet was announced.

The decathlete had created a stir during the Federation Cup at Patiala, failing to turn up for the dope test after his event on June 2. The AFI officials then had blamed the NADA officials for not notifying him of the test. He gave the sample hours later and that is the one that has landed him in trouble.

Jagtar had set a personal best of 6687 points to emerge champion at the All India inter-university meet in Coimbatore in January this year and he improved it further at the Federation Cup, delivering his best performances in five of the ten events. But his positive test has again brought the ills dogging Indian athletics.

Meldonium is the substance that came into spotlight last year after Maria Sharapova tested positive for it, coping a ban of 15 months. A drug that increases blood flow, it increases the capacity of the athlete to exercise. It came into the list of banned substances in 2015 and the standard ban for a first-time offence is four years.

Indian 400M hurdler Jithin Paul was in trouble recently after meldonium was found in his room at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala, during a NADA raid. After the exit of Jagtar, Abhishek Shetty is the lone Indian competitor in decathlon.

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