Two Commonwealth Games-bound athletes, sprinter S Dhanalakshmi and triple jumper Aishwarya Babu, have returned positive for banned drugs, as dope shame struck Indian athletics just a few days ahead of the multi-sport event.
Both have been ruled out of the upcoming July 28 to August 8 Birmingham Games and have been handed provisional suspensions.
The 24-year-old Dhanalakshmi, who was named in the 36-member Indian athletics team for the Birmingham CWG, returned positive for a banned steroid in a dope test conducted abroad by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the World Athletics.
"Dhanalakshmi tested positive in a dope test conducted by AIU. She will not go for Birmingham CWG," a top source privy to the development told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Dhanalakshmi was named in the CWG team for 100m and the 4x100m relay team along with the likes of Dutee Chand, Hima Das and Srabani Nanda.
She was also named in the Indian team for the ongoing World Championships in Eugene, USA, but failed to make it to the showpiece, ostensibly due to visa problems.
Dhanalakshmi had recorded a personal best time of 22.89 seconds to win 200m gold at the Qosanov Memorial Athletics Meet on June 26. She had become only the third Indian woman to run sub-23s after national record holder Saraswati Saha (22.82s) and Hima Das (22.88s).
The 24-year-old Aishwarya's dope sample, taken by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) officials during the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Chennai last month, has also returned a positive result.
"Triple jumper Aishwarya Babu's sample, taken during the National Inter-State Championships, has returned positive," the source said.
Aishwarya had smashed the triple jump national record with a stunning effort of 14.14m to emerge the undisputed star of the National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships (June 10-14) in Chennai.