Sri Lankan sprinter denies dope charge

COLOMBO, Sept 25, 2006 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan woman sprinter denied Monday taking performance enhancing drugs during the South Asian Games in Colombo last month, investigators said.

If proved guilty, Silva would lose both her 4×100 metres relay gold medal and the 100metres silver.

Sri Lankan officials had earlier said that athletes from Pakistan, Nepal and India were also believed to have tested positive.

Pakistan boxers Nauman Karim and Dur Mahmud may be stripped of golds and also risk facing bans if their ‘B’ samples are confirmed positive, the officials said without naming the Indians or Nepalis involved.

Jani Chathurangani de Silva, a double medallist at the games, tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone and was summoned before an official inquiry committee.

“She told this morning’s inquiry that she had not taken any banned drugs,” Doctor Geethanjana Mendis, the head of the government’s sports medicine unit, told AFP. “She had only taken some medicine as treatment for a leg injury.”

Mendis said her statement would be referred to another inquiry committee and its recommendations would then be forwarded to the disciplinary committee of the Ath