Four South Asian nations, including Sri Lanka, accused of doping offences

Chandi Dharmaratne

COLOMBO, Sept 21, 2006 (AFP) – Athletes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal tested positive for banned substances at last month’s South Asian Games here, an official said on Thursday.

“We have sent the preliminary investigation reports to the four countries and are awaiting their response”, Sri Lanka’s National Olympic Committee president Hemasiri Fernando told AFP.

Fernando, who headed the organising committee of the eight-nation South Asian Games which were held in Colombo from August 14-29, did not confirm the exact number of competitors that tested positive.

Sri Lankan sports officials had already said on Sunday that two Pakistani boxers, Nauman Karim and Dur Mahmud, and Sri Lankan woman sprinter Jani Chathurangani de Silva, had failed tests during the Games.

The names of the Indian and Nepali athletes who tested positive were not released Thursday.

Meanwhile, de Silva failed to appear for a second successive day before a Sri Lankan government commission Thursday inquiring into her positive test.

“She sent a letter through her mother this morning saying that she was ill and unable to attend,” said Geethanjana Mendis, a doctor who heads the gover