Chandigarh: The doping controversy at the ongoing Kabaddi World Cup meet seems far from over with five more players being tested positive for banned substances taking the list of dope offenders to 12.

As per information received, two from Canada, one each from UK, Australia and Italy failed the dope tests.

The players have been suspended and barred from taking part in the competition till their names are cleared. The tests are being conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and they have dispatched three teams to the venues, which will test the participants in the Cup.

Before start of the tournament, a special five-member anti-doping committee had been formed and Dr Manmohan Singh and Dr Munish Chander were made chairman and convener respectively.

Chander confirmed that as many as 84 samples have been taken already. On Monday, three players participating in the ongoing Cup had failed dope tests and were stopped from taking any further part in the tournament.

The organising committee of the event had also issued notices to the players of Group B pool, who were from the United States, Spain and Argentina.

Two days back, the organising committee had temporarily suspended four players who had tested positive for banned substances after NADA test results were declared.

Out of the four, two were from Australia while one each from Germany and Canada.

According to the organising secretary of the Cup and former Indian hockey captain, Pargat Singh, the organising committee was committed to ensure dope free tournament.

"Kabaddi is an unorganized sector (Kabaddi as a sport). It is not governed at the world level and to some extent, I would also say lack of knowledge...(among players adds to the problem," Pargat admitted.

A player taking part in the tournament also admitted that sometimes the lure of money can lead a player treading the wrong path while on most occasions taking banned substance can happen out of sheer ignorance.

"It is certainly a sad situation, but we are trying our level best to check this menace. We conduct repeated tests during various Kabaddi tournaments organized in our country. Before coming to India for this Cup, we had tested all players for banned substances," an official accompanying the UK team preferring anonymity said.

"Moreover, the players are fully aware that they could be tested by NADA anytime during the Cup and therefore, they are taking all preventive measures."

However, a Canadian team official felt that samples of Kabaddi players should be taken more often and strict action should be taken against erring players if the "aim of drug-free sports is to be achieved."

Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has been portraying the tournament as an important event which will give boost to the traditional sport.

"My aim is to give international recognition to Punjab's traditional game kabaddi has been partially achieved as 14 countries are participating in the second edition of World Cup and four countries are participating for women's World Cup Kabaddi," Punjab's deputy chief minister and also the state's sports minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal said recently.

Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan had performed at the inaugural ceremony of the Kabaddi World Cup in Bathinda on November 1.

However, the main opposition Congress' Punjab unit President and former chief minister Amarinder Singh has claimed that the "the teams participating in the tournament are not representing their countries and have not been recognised by their respective governments. This is only a show for Sukhbir's personal survival where he has crossed all the limits of modesty for gathering crowds to satisfy his ego."

(Agencies)