Chanu pleads innocence, accuses IWF of keeping her in dark

The 31-year-old Chanu, who failed a dope test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency last month, said she was never informed by the Federation that methylhexaneamine was a banned drug.

"I exactly don't know about this substance and was never told by the federation that this is a banned substance. They never informed me about this. Even all the athletes who have been tested positive in recent times on this substance, they were unaware about methylhexaneamine," Chanu told reporters here.

"I am waiting for my 'B' sample result. After that I will decide what to do next," said Chanu, a former Asian champion and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games champion. Chanu, who competes in 53 kg event, was tested positive during the trials for the Delhi Commonwealth Games here last month, her second offence after being caught at 2004 Athens Olympics.

If her 'B' sample also turns out to be positive, she may banned for life. The dope flunk came days after Indian Weightlifting Federation paid a hefty USD five lakh fine to the international body after its six lifters failed WADA dope tests conducted last September.

As many as 11 athletes have been tested positive in the past week for the same stimulant, widely available in dietary supplements. Chanu said the Federation didn't tell her that she has tested positive and she came to know about the result only through the media.

"I had 5-6 tests earlier, which all came out negative. On July 28, I had a test in Patiala, which also came out negative. Then during the CWG selection trials, they found me positive for this substance which I can't spell properly.

"I was not aware of all this. One day, I got a call from a media friend that I have been tested positive and won't be able to participate in the Games. "It came as a shocker to me. The Federation didn't send me the letter regarding this. They kept it with them," she said.

Chanu, who had earlier tested positive for a diuretic at the Athens Olympics in 2004 along with another woman lifter Pratima Kumari (63kg), said at that time also she was unaware of the use of supplements suggested by the Russian coach.

"First time also, our Russian coach has suggested me the supplements and medicines during Athens 2004. When doping committee of the event came and enquired about the substances which we have consumed, they found us positive," she said.

Chanu said earlier all the weightlifters were used to have lecture on the use of banned substances during Sports Authority of India camps. "But now we don't know which medicine to take during fever or cold. We use to develop this salt bacause we take medicines when we are not well. I have been told by others that this has nothing to do with dope and all.  "Only now when cases have started coming into light, the federation told us that this comes under banned list," she said.

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