Embarrassment piled on India ahead of next month's Commonwealth Games with three swimmers, two of them part of the country's team for the mega-event, flunking dope tests in New Delhi on Sunday.
Richa Mishra, adjudged the best female swimmer of the 64th National aquatic championship in Jaipur along with fellow CWG team-mate Jyotsana Pansare and Amar Muralitharan, tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency this year.
Intended to be a nasal decongestant, it is marketed as a dietary supplement.
The Swimming Federation of India secretary Virender Nanavati confirmed the development and said both Richa and Jyotsana will be withdrawn from the team if their 'B' samples also turned out to be positive.
"We have been informed by the National Anti-Doping Agency about the three swimmers failing dope tests. Their samples were collected during the National Championships in Jaipur," Nanavati said.
"They can ask for a 'B' sample test but that is their individual decision. We will see what happens after that procedure is completed. If the 'B' samples of Richa and Jyotsana also test positive they will be withdrawn from the team. I can't say whether we will have the replacements," he said.
Of the three who have been caught in the doping net, Muralitharan had earlier flunked a dope test in 2003 as well but was cleared later that year.
"All three of them have tested positive for methylhexaneamine," said the CWG Tournament Director (Swimming) Rakesh Gupta.
Richa won three individual gold medals and also broke the meet record in the 200 metres individual medley during the Nationals, while Jyotsana clinched a gold in the 100m backstroke event in Jaipur.
The latest doping scandal comes within a few days of six wrestlers and two athletes testing positive for the same banned substance.
That list included this year's Arjuna awardee Rajiv Tomar, along with fellow grapplers Sumit (74kg), Mausam Khatri (96kg), Gursharanpreet Kaur (women's 72kg), Rahul Mann (60kg) and Joginder Singh (120kg).
Shotputter Sourabh Vij and discus thrower Akash Antil had also failed dope tests.
Days before this, net-ball player Megha Chaudharay had also tested positive for a banned substance.