Shot-putter Manpreet fails dope test; may miss Worlds

Shot-putter Manpreet fails dope test; may miss Worlds

Shot-putter Manpreet fails dope test; may miss Worlds
Shotputter Manpreet Kaur has tested positive for a banned stimulant, putting her participation in the World Championships, starting in London on August 4, in jeopardy.

Manpreet, who won the gold in the recently-concluded Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, was found positive for dimethylbutylamine, a specified stimulant, in a test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agegncy (NADA) during the Federation Cup at Patiala last month.

She had won the gold medal at the Federation Cup with a throw of 17.04 metres on June 1.

The Punjab shot putter had created a sensation with a throw of 18.86 metres, a national record, at the Asian Grand Prix at Jinhua, China, in April. She also made the entry standard (17.75M) for the World Championships with that mark.

Manpreet has escaped provisional suspension for the doping infringement since dimethylbutylamine is a ‘specified stimulant’, a category that does not attract an automatic provisional suspension. It is structurally related to Methylhexaneamine (MHA), for which 11 Indian athletes had tested positive before the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Manpreet’s doping incident has once again put the Athletics Federation of India in an embarrassing position despite its avowed policy of “zero tolerance” towards doping. Only last month javelin thrower Devender Singh had tested positive for marijuana and on the eve of the Asian Championships it was made known that decathlete Jagtar Singh had also returned a positive test.

AFI, meanwhile, claimed it was notified of the latest doping case only Tuesday night and was yet to decide on Manpreet 's participation in the World Championships. “We got to know about it only last night,” an AFI official said. “Only when we have gone through all the details will we decide whether she would be in the team for the World Championships.”

The AFI officials are also surprised with the surfacing of dimethylbutylamine, which they say had been found for the first time in the sample of an Indian athlete. Though Manpreet is eligible to participate in the World Championships if selected, her gold from the Asian Championships has come under a cloud. The results of samples from the Asian Championships are expected to be out by next week.

Manpreet had won the gold with an 18.28M throw in the Asian Championships. She also won the gold in the just-concluded Inter-State championships at Guntur with a below-par 15.65M.

Manpreet's case will now be forwarded to a three-member disciplinary panel. She can face a suspension of up to four years under the 2015 WADA Code if NADA is able to establish the athlete had taken the banned substance deliberately. Otherwise it would be two years.

Further reduction is possible including a mere reprimand if the athlete is able to prove that she bore no “significant fault or negligence” in ingesting the banned substance. She can also get similar relief under the "contaminated products" clause if contamination of a supplement could be proved.

Manpreet awaits the routine procedure of a provisional hearing followed by the ‘B’ sample test, if she desires, before a hearing is scheduled.

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