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‘I’ve been treated badly for years by authorities’

‘I’ve been treated badly for years by authorities’
Livid with detractors for casting aspersions on her achievements because of a dope-tainted past, Asian Games gold medallist discus thrower Seema Punia on Tuesday said she has been ‘ill-treated’ by authorities, including the national federation, for many years now.

Seema, who won a gold in the just-concluded Incheon Games, said despite being a top performer for the country in the past 14 years, she received step-motherly treatment from the authorities.

‘I am a junior World Championships medallist. I have won medals in three successive Commonwealth Games (2006 to 2014) before I won a gold in Incheon. I have brought laurels for the country for the past more than a decade in my long career and I thought I deserved better treatment but I have been looked upon with suspicion whenever I have achieved something. This is not fair,’ 31-year-old told PTI in an interview.

Seema was stripped off her gold medal in 2000 World Junior Championships in Santiago after testing positive for a banned stimulant -- pseudoephedrine -- though she had claimed at that time that it was due to a medicine she took for common cold while on her way to Chile from India.

She was issued a warning but two years later, she won a bronze in the World Junior Championships in Jamaica. Later, she was embroiled in another doping controversy just before the 2006 Asian Games and she withdrew, citing ‘ill-health’ of her father. ‘I will not look back and I hope to prove my detractors wrong. Now my ultimate target is winning a medal in 2016 London Olympics and if I do that, I think my detractors will be silenced,’ said Punia, who returned home from South Korea on Monday.
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