CWG gold medallist Sanjita reported for doping

CWG gold medallist Sanjita reported for doping

IN TROUBLE Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu during the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, in April. PTI FILE PHOTO

In a big setback for Indian weightlifting, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjita Chanu has been reported by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) as having tested positive for steroid testosterone.

The information was revealed by the IWF which disclosed the names of five international weightlifters, including that of Sanjita, for testing positive for banned substances. Sanjita has been provisionally suspended.

In a statement, the IWF said: “IWF reports that the sample of Ms Sanjita Chamu KHUMUKCHAM (IND) has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for Testosterone (S1.1 Anabolic Agents). As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation.”

However, the international federation refused to divulge further information. “In any case where it is determined that the Athlete did not commit an anti-doping rule violation, the relevant decision will also be published. IWF will not make any further comments on the case until it is closed.”

If proven guilty, Sanjita faces a four-year suspension. It is understood Sanjita was tested out of competition during the 2017 World Championships in the USA last November. The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF), it is believed, is questioning the delay in announcement of the positive result for doping and provisional suspension, which is dated May 15. “IWLF will challenge the suspension. The five-month gap is questionable during which she participated in several competitions including CWG,” a source said.

A case of testosterone is confirmed only through an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) analysis which may consume time before a laboratory reports back to the authority about a positive result.

The 24-year-old Manipuri, who is currently a member of the national camp for the Asian Games, had created headlines with her gold medal in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in women’s 53 kg last month. In fact, she had created a new Commonwealth Games record with a lift of 84 kg in snatch and 108 kg in clean and jerk, to finish with a total of 192 kg.

The news will further hit the Indian weightlifters with the IWF in April publishing new rules which limit countries to one male and one female entry at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if they have had more than 20 doping cases in the sport since July 2008. India fall in the second category of nations with between 10 and 20 confirmed doping cases in that period and can be allowed to enter a maximum of two men and two women.