Asian Games: Two Pakistani female athletes prevented from travelling to China

The Games are being held in Hangzhou

September 26, 2023
Sahib e Asra (L) and Arooj Kiran (R) have been stopped from travelling to the Asian Games. — Author

KARACHI: The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) stopped two Pakistani female athletes, Sahib e Asra and Arooj Kiran, from travelling to China to participate in the ongoing Asian Games 2023.

Sprinter Asra and Kiran will not be travelling to Hangzhou with the remaining players.

The decision was taken because the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) awaits the result of the doping of these players.

Both the players will be given the green light to travel once their doping test results are received by PSB.

Asra opened up on the decision by AFP and said that this doesn't happen anywhere.

"The dope test was taken 20 days ago, we still haven't got the result," she began. "It doesn't happen anywhere in the world that an athlete is stopped from travelling and waiting for the result.

"The director of PSB told the AFP to stop me from travel," she claimed.

"If it was important to get the results before we leave, then everything should've been arranged accordingly. 

"Now they are saying that the result will come on September 29, and my event is on the same date. If I end up missing the event, who will be responsible for that? All my hard work would be wasted."

The sprinter also reminded the time she wasn't allowed to participate in the Asian Games.

"Four years ago, they did not let me play the games by saying that I don't have a card.

"Does the director of the Sports Board have complete confidence in other players that they are allowed to travel?

"Every player can participate in any event before the result of the dope test."

Asra had to compete in the 400m race while Kiran was in the 100m category.

It must be noted in August, the Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) and the PSB decided to organise random doping tests ahead of the Asian Games.

About 30 to 40 players were a part of those tests.

The POA and PSB mutually decided that their focus would be on sports that have had a bad doping test record in the past. Weightlifting, athletics and kabaddi players were specifically mentioned.

The Pakistan Weightlifting Association had a tough time dealing with this issue in the recent 34th National Games — which were organised in May 2023 — as there were positive dope tests of some athletics and weightlifting players.

Faizan Lakhani is Deputy Editor (Sports) at Geo News.