"Whether it is eight years, a gold medal is a gold medal. She was at the peak of her performance at that point of time. We cherish those moments when she won the silver and we are happy that she got the gold, of course for other reasons," Nachappa said.

"She is extremely happy and we are very proud that she got a clean chit and the one who cheated got caught," the 46-year-old former athlete told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a Puma running relay event for school children in three cities - Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.

Anju's second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics final was upgraded to a gold medal on Tuesday, following a confirmed dope violation by Russian competitor Tatyana Kotova who had stood first but has now been stripped of her place after her sample was found to contain traces of a banned substance when it was tested again.

Nachappa, who is president of 'Clean Sport India', also warned that doping is rampant in India - even at the grassroot level.

"I believe that the performance enhancing drugs have become rampant even in our country. Among young children, it is such a dangerous trend. I am connected with athletics and when I see the junior meets that takes place, it is actually quite frightening. You go to any national championship, you see syringes on the ground, in the toilets."

She wanted young athletes as well as the coaches to be educated about the dangers of dope.

"I think we need to have a broader education, not just within the classrooms but on the field also, not just with the children but also with our trainers, because after all kids will not know what they are taking till a certain age. They are not educated enough and believe in coaches. You have got to be sensitive on these issues."


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