Six Indian women "will serve two-year bans after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal" by the Int'l Association of Athletics Federations against lighter sentences. The athletes had been handed lighter one-year bans by the National Anti-Doping Agency, which felt the athletes "had taken performance-enhancing drugs unknowingly," prompting the IAAF proposal. The athletes include three members of the 4x400 relay team that won the gold medal in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games in '10 -- Ashwini Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose. The other three runners were Jauna Murmu, Tiana Mary and Priyanka Panwar (AP, 7/18).
CLEARANCE REQUIRED: The AFP reported that India's cricket chiefs are confident they "will secure the government's clearance to host Pakistan" for a short tour later this year. Board of Control for Cricket in India spokesperson Rajiv Shukla said, "We will of course need to take a formal clearance from the government. But I have spoken to both the home ministry and the external affairs ministry and we have no doubt the tour will take place" (AFP, 7/17).