Pakistan has banned seven top athletes for two years over doping offences just two months ahead of the Commonwealth Games, an official said on Monday.
The athletes tested positive for banned steroids at the national championships last month. They were named as javelin thrower Mohammad Imran, shot putter Mohammad Waseem, high jumper Rozina Shafqat, sprinter Nadia Nazir, distance runner Shagufta Naureen, pole vaulter Zahra Razzak and 200-metre specialist Asif Javed.
Pakistan Athletics Federation (PAF) secretary Khalid Mahmood said the athletes were entitled to appeal. ‘All the athletes failed dope tests and it’s disappointing for us,’ Mr Mahmood told AFP.
‘I won’t say they were medal prospects in the Commonwealth Games or in the Asian Games but the case hurts Pakistan’s image,’ he said.
Only Imran was due to participate in the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in New Delhi from October 3 to 14. He will now be replaced.
The latest bans come a month after the PAF banned female sprinters Sadaf Siddique and Javeria Hassan for two years on doping offenses.