A sprinter who ran a 100m final all by himself after his seven rivals fled drug testers has failed a drug test.
Lalit Kumar took victory at the Delhi Athletics Championships in September at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – but was the only competitor in the final.
Kumar's rivals all withdrew from the race with cramps and strains, but officials believe that they had been warned that NADA, India's anti-doping agency, was going to show up.
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It gave Kumar a clean run to victory but not without controversy of his own.
It was reported that Kumar tested positive for a banned substance called anabolic steroid drostanolone metabolite on the day of the race.
Kumar has denied testing but he will not be appealing the decision as he cannot afford the fee – and now says his career is in ruins.
“Had I taken any performance-enhancing drugs, I would have fled like the rest,” Kumar said to the Indian Express. “I have never taken any drugs… I feel some coaches are involved in framing me.
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“I went to the NADA office and was told that I have to pay Rs 16,500 (£157) for my B sample to be tested. My career has been ruined even before it started. To appeal, I need to find some kind of proof and I don’t have any right now.”
The president of the Delhi State Athletics Association claims that the runners who missed the final could be saving two year bans.
"The punishment for [Lalit Kumar] will be handed by the NADA,” Joshua told India Today. “But we had formed a committee to look into how the seven other runners had pulled out. The committee will submit its report in two-three days.
"We are considering banning them for two years if they are found to have pulled out of the race without plausible reasons.
"The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had also formed a committee to look into the matter. We will submit the report to the AFI."
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