Didn't take any banned substance, will challenge suspension: Sanjita Chanu
Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu today said she will challenge the provisional suspension imposed on her for allegedly failing a dope test, insisting that she is innocent and hasn't taken any banned substance. The 24-year-old Sanjita, who had won gold in the women's 53kg category in Gold Coast CWG, was suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after testing positive for testosterone.
IWLF is confident of Sanjita's innocence, ready to fight case
The sample was taken during an out-of-competition test prior to the World Championship in Anaheim (US) in November last year. However, she got the backing of Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF), which is confident of the Manipuri player's innocence. "We don't understand why the dope result took so long," said Federation Secretary Sahdev Yadav, adding they will fight out the case.
Sanjita faces 4-year ban if she tests positive for 'B-sample'
Yadav said, "We have written that we would go for the 'B' sample test. After we get the results we will hire a top lawyer to present our case at the hearing (at the international federation). I am confident we will prove her innocence." If Sanjita's 'B' sample also tests positive, she could be handed a four-year ban from the sport.
Sanjita had won gold in 2014 Glasgow CWG
Sanjita had won a gold in 48kg category in 2014 CWG in Glasgow. Sanjita had also taken part in 53kg class in World Championship 2017, finishing 13th with a total lift of 177kg. On May 9, Sanjita was included in the Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme for her Asian Games preparations. But her name might be struck-off if the ruling is against her.
12 weightlifters tested positive by international federation since 2008
The latest dope flunk will hit Indian weightlifting hard after a clean recent past, especially after Mirabai Chanu's 48kg category gold medal in World Championship. After a dope-free 2016, weightlifter Sushila Panwar returned positive. Sanjita's case is the first positive result of 2018. Before Sanjita, 12 Indian weightlifters had returned positive in tests conducted by the international federation since 2008.
IWF introduced new rules to punish offending countries
Recently, the International Weightlifting Federation decided to punish offending countries by limiting their quotas for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The new rules state that any nation with 20 or more doping violations from 2008 to 2020 will have just one man and one woman at the Games. Countries with 10-19 doping violations will be limited to two men and two women.
What does this mean for India?
India along with other countries like Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Iran and Belarus comes under category of 10-19 violations, and hence will be given only two places each at Tokyo 2020. However, this won't have much impact on India as the country hasn't been sending more than two weightlifters each in men and women's sections in the Olympics during the past few editions.